High Performance Computing Code:  M0.538    :  6
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This is the course plan for the second semester of the academic year 2023/2024. To check whether the course is being run this semester, go to the Virtual Campus section More UOC / The University / Programmes of study section on Campus. Once teaching starts, you'll be able to find it in the classroom. The course plan may be subject to change.

In this subject inside the Máster of Computational Engineering, will try to deepen in the field of the High Performance Computation (HPC), seeing the different possibilities that offers us this field,  the different levels of paradigms of programming, parallel and distributed applications, and the different hardware/software architectural solutions, that allow us work in this field (supercomputing, distributed systems, or new architectures like the GPUs).

We will examine architectures of high performance, its models by parallel and distributed computation, and some middlewares for the computational Grid and Cloud.  Also we will observe the different concepts around Green Computing, as new paradigm that incorporates the idea of optimisation of consumption, in addition to maximise the system performance.


In this course, the main language to used is english, e.g. the reference materials to be used and the activities. Also in different  course subjects we will use some current articles on the field of high performance computing, which are written in English.

For this reason it is recommended to have a sufficient level of understanding of technical English.

  • Description: This course allows the student to know the concepts and acquire the necessary competences to design and develop computational solutions based on high performance computing, as an alternative to traditionally sequential systems. It addresses the process and communications design techniques needed to develop applications that take advantage of the computing resources of today's computing architectures. Allowing the migration from classic algorithms to new optimized algorithms aware of the architecture that allow to obtain better computational performance.
  • Requirements: Basic programming knowledge (C or Fortran) and GNU / Linux environments at the user level.
  • Bibliography: Using the UOC Modules, the reference textbook, and other recomended biblography and research papers.
  • Software: GNU gcc (C/C ++/Fortran compiler) and GNU/Linux distributions like Ubuntu/CentOS.



In this couse we plan to obtain the tools you will need to achieve the following objectives:

1. Understand the motivations behind high performance computing and parallelism.

2. Understand the fundamentals of parallelism, parallel architectures, and programming models, including those related to shared-memory systems and distributed-memory systems.

3. Learn about the fundamental concepts for programming GPU devices using graphic computing programming models.

4. Understand the fundamentals related to management systems for high performance systems and their components, planning policies, and performance and analysis for high performance systems.

5. Understand the fundamentals and technologies related to distributed computing as well as the paradigms of grid and cloud computing, including their relationship with high performance computing.

6. Understand the fundamentals, characteristics, and main lines of research related to green computing and energy efficiency, as well as to sustainable computing and sustainability.

7. Understand the current challenges facing high performance computing.


Module 1 Introduction to high performance computing

1. Motivations behind high performance computing
2. Parallelism and parallel architectures
3. Programming parallel applications
4. Performance for parallel applications
5. Challenges for high performance computing

Module 2 High performance architectures

1. Functional and data decomposition
2. Flynn's taxonomy
3. SIMD processor architectures
4. Multithread or MIMD processor architectures
5. Many-core architectures: the case of the Intel Xeon Phi

Module 3 Parallel programming and computing

1. Shared-memory programming models
2. Graphics programming models
3. Programing models for distributed memory
4. Parallel algorithmic schemes

Module 4 High performance computing system architectures

1. Organization of high performance systems
2. Interconnection networks
3. File systems for high performance systems
4. Job scheduler and resource managers

Module 5 Introduction to high performance distributed computing

1. Fundamentals of distributed computing
2. Grid computing
3. Cloud computing

Module 6 Green computing

1. Fundamentals and basic concepts
2. Energy efficiency
3. Sustainable computing and sustainability
4. List of recommended reading




The assessment process is based on students' own work and the assumption that this work is original and has been carried out by them.

In assessment activities, the following irregular behaviours, among others, may have serious academic and disciplinary consequences: someone else being involved in carrying out the student's assessment test or activity, or the work being not entirely original; copying another's work or committing plagiarism; attempting to cheat to obtain better academic results; collaborating in, covering up or encouraging copying; or using unauthorized material, software or devices during assessment.

If students are caught engaging in any of these irregular behaviours, they may receive a fail mark (D/0) for the assessable activities set out in the course plan (including the final tests) or in the final mark for the course. This could be because they have used unauthorized materials, software or devices (e.g. social networking sites or internet search engines) during the tests, because they have copied text fragments from an external source (internet, notes, books, articles, other student's projects or activities, etc.) without correctly citing the source, or because they have engaged in any other irregular conduct.

In accordance with the UOC's academic regulations , irregular conduct during assessment, besides leading to a failing mark for the course, may be grounds for disciplinary proceedings and, where appropriate, the corresponding punishment, as established in the UOC's coexistence regulations.

In its assessment process, the UOC reserves the right to:

  • Ask the student to provide proof of their identity, as established in the university's academic regulations.
  • Request that students provide evidence of the authorship of their work, throughout the assessment process, both in continuous and final assessment, by means of an oral test or by whatever other synchronous or asynchronous means the UOC specifies. These means will check students' knowledge and competencies to verify authorship of their work, and under no circumstances will they constitute a second assessment. If it is not possible to guarantee the student's authorship, they will receive a D grade in the case of continuous assessment or a Fail in the case of final assessment.

    For this purpose, the UOC may require that students use a microphone, webcam or other devices during the assessment process, in which case it will be the student's responsibility to check that such devices are working correctly.


In order to pass the course, you must pass the continuous assessment and take a synthesis test.

Your final mark for the course will be calculated as follows:

  • If you pass the continuous assessment and get the required minimum mark in the synthesis test, your final mark will be based on the weightings specified in the course plan.
  • If you pass the continuous assessment but don't get the required minimum mark in the synthesis test, your final mark will be the numerical mark from the synthesis test.
  • If you pass the continuous assessment and don't sit the synthesis test, you'll receive a final mark of Absent.
  • If you don't pass the continuous assessment, your final mark will be the mark you received in the continuous assessment.
  • If you don't take part in the continuous assessment, you'll receive a final mark of Absent.