High-Performance Computing

Norwegian scientists in a vast range of disciplines — from climate and marine research to energy, language and health — depend on high-performance computing (HPC) in their research.  
HPC is not about piling thousands of PCs together. It is about integrating ten to hundreds of thousands of processors with efficient interconnect and large global file systems. This enables fast interprocessor communication and the ability to process large amounts of data. Using HPC, thousands of processors can be employed simultaneously to process very large scientific problems, often impossible to simulate otherwise. This allows researchers to gain new insight into important societal problems. HPC might also be used to augment or replace physical experiments when the latter is costly or dangerous to conduct.  

The high-performance computing service provides access to the national supercomputers Betzy, Fram and Saga, in addition to the new pan-European supercomputer LUMI, part of the EuroHPC infrastructure.

The HPC service is a support service for research and education in universities and university colleges. It is also available to the Norwegian research institutes to support publicly funded research. The national computing facilities and software have far greater capacity than is normally available at the research institutions.  

Researchers apply for computer time (CPU hours) to support or fulfil their research goals. The service is mainly for running simulations for research and educational purposes, set up as batch processing runs. Advanced software support is available for help with configuring jobs, workflow pipelines and other software issues. 

The HPC service also provides: 

  • basic technical support through a ticket-based support service. 

  • training in programming, software optimization and other relevant topics. 

  • a basic software portfolio, primarily comprising open-source code and basic commercial tools, such as compilers, debuggers and simulation applications. 

  • the availability to run commercial software by bringing your licences (BYOL). 

  • access to high-performance high-volume file systems for temporary storage during computations.

The HPC service is available to:

    •    Researchers at Norwegian universities and university colleges 
    •    Students at Norwegian universities and university colleges
    •    Researchers at independent research institutes with projects funded by public grants
    •    Researchers at the Norwegian regional health services
    •    Commercial research (volume is limited by EU regulations).
A limited amount of permanent storage is available with the HPC service. More capacity is available through the NIRD Storage Service. The HPC and NIRD services are connected, thus allowing research projects to store larger amounts of scientific data for computations on NIRD.

The cost of using the national e-infrastructure services depends on the researcher funding, affiliation and purpose of the research. Visit the user contribution model for further detail.

Researchers in permanent employment may apply for compute resources at any time. Established compute projects must apply for resources biannually, usually when the calls are published in December/January June/July. Applications for an extended time are processed continuously. Visit small scale exploratory work (SSEW) for swift access to small scale time-limited testing.

Applications are evaluated based on scientific excellence by a Resource Allocation Committee (RFK), granting access to computations and related services, including user support.

Granted applications are administered by their Principal investigator (PI), who decides which members are allowed to use the grant. Any person might be admitted to the project if their usage complies with the scientific goals described in the application.   

Projects must meet the requirements for scientific quality and comply with the Acceptable Use Policy and the ICT policy at their affiliated research institutions. Large-scale calculations must also meet requirements for efficient execution.

Norway owns a share of the new Pan-European supercomputer LUMI through Sigma2. You can apply for resources on LUMI through our regular calls. Projects requiring a very large amount of resources should consider applying for resources directly through EuroHPC. EuroCC National Competence Centre Sweden has created a video showing how to apply for resources from EuroHPC.

Apply for HPC resources

Apply for user accounts

The HPC service going forward

Below you find the roadmap for the development of the HPC service. The roadmap is continuously updated, and tasks may move forward and backwards if priorities change.

More services

The national e-infrastructure services consist of HPC, data storage and several related services.  

Complete services overview

About the national e-infrastructure services

Sigma2 works closely with the universities of Bergen, Oslo, Tromsø and NTNU to operate the national e-infrastructure services. The collaboration is called NRIS (Norwegian research infrastructure services). It is the NRIS staff who ensures that all researchers who use the national e-infrastructure services get quick and easy access to domain-specific support and related activities.

Together we work to fulfil our vision We enhance excellent research for a better world.


NRIS logo.