Europe invests in a new project for a supercomputer

Europe invests in a new project for a supercomputer

The project is coordinated by the Italian agency Enea, with five countries to create a new architecture in the family of exascale computers

Computer research is creating increasingly sophisticated High performance computing Photo by Colossus Cloud from Pixabay Becoming a point reference in the technological sector of supercomputing, developing a new hardware-software architecture: this is the ambition of Textarossa, a European project to develop a new High performance computing (Hpc) infrastructure with possible applications in the energy, climate, medical and pharmaceutical fields. Co-financed by the EuroHpc Joint Undertaking, the three-year project brings together 17 institutions and companies from five European countries and is coordinated by the Enea institute.

“Thanks to extraordinary financial and scientific resources, new infrastructures are being created worldwide of supercomputing, called exascala, able to perform about one billion billion operations per second: a single machine of this type will be able to perform double the calculations of the current one hundred most powerful supercomputers in Europe ", explains Massimo Celino, researcher of Enea's IT and IT systems development division. The project has a total budget of 6 million euros, 2 of which come from the Horizon 2020 plan.

The National Agency for New Technologies will therefore participate in the design and testing of the two planned prototypes, with the objective of defining and implementing the new calculation structure. This will rely on techniques for reducing consumption and latest generation processors, accompanied by hardware accelerators and innovative cooling systems.

The first prototype will refer to the line identified by the European processor initiative (Epi), with Arm64 architecture based on a family of microprocessors developed by the Arm Holding company, with low power consumption in relation to performance, which allowed the diffusion in electronic systems characterized by high specialization for final applications. The second will rely on OpenSequana technology, developed by Atos Bull (a project partner) and based on a new range of exascale, heterogeneous, flexible and low-power supercomputers.

In addition to promoting competitiveness in the strategic sector Hpc , Textarossa “will allow us to achieve new results in sectors of extreme economic, social and scientific importance such as the pharmaceutical industry, artificial intelligence, climate modeling and fundamental physics”, concludes Celino. In Italy, in addition to Enea, Cini, Cnr, the National Institute of Nuclear Physics, E4 Computer Engineering, In Quattro and Cineca participate in the project. Other scientific-technological institutes have joined the initiative from Germany, France, Spain and Poland.

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