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HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING


Expect Exascale


ROBERT ROE LOOKS AT ADVANCES IN EXASCALE COMPUTING AND THE IMPACT OF AI ON HPC DEVELOPMENT


are hoping to develop home-grown HPC technology. EuroHPC is an initiative to fund a


In March it was announced that a new exascale system was on the horizon, with the news that


Aurora – originally scheduled for 2018 – was going to be the first exascale system in the US, launching in 2021. With plans for exascale systems now firmly in place, we can begin to see the architecture of the first exascale systems. In most cases they rely heavily on


accelerator technologies that are not only driving exascale performance, but also ushering in a new age of AI-based computing applications and analytics. Across the pond the EU is banding


together to drive European efforts in HPC development. Projects such as EuroEXA and The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking, funded by government grants and partnerships between EU countries, commercial and research organisations


world-class European supercomputing infrastructure to 2026 to meet the demands of European research and industry, with a jointly-funded budget of around €1.4 billion, provided by the EU, participating countries and private partners. The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking has launched a funding call to host at least two pre-exascale systems. Kimmo Koski managing director of


CSC – IT Center for Science in Finland, is preparing a bid put together by nine EU countries for one of Europe’s two pre-exascale computing systems. Funded partly by EU’s EuroHPC initiative, and partly by the consortuium partners, this is one example of the efforts in Europe to catch up to the US and Asia. The project hopes to deliver a pre-exascale system for the EU by the end of 2020. The consortium partners working


with Finland on this project are Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland and Switzerland. More countries may stilll join the consortium. The bid aims to put the system in the CSC datacentre in Kajaani, 550 kilometres north of Helsinki.


‘We expect to put together as


competitive a bid as possible for this pre- exascale system. The idea is to combine forces and make a joint purchase of a high-end system, and also do a lot of other things on top of that, like develop competencies in scientific computing and AI,’ said Koski. ‘The expertise covers a lot of areas,


there is a lot of experience and we have been able to agree that everybody can use this resource that will be outside their country’s borders,’ Koski added.


GPUs forge the path to exascale The US Department of Energy recently announced the first exascale supercomputer and, at first glance, it does


“The convergence of AI and high-performance computing is an enormous opportunity to address some of the world’s biggest challenges, and an important catalyst for economic opportunity”


g


 Aurora will be launched in 2021 4 Scientific Computing World April/May 2019 @scwmagazine | www.scientific-computing.com


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