Mont-Blanc 2020: European scalable, modular and power efficient HPC processor


The Mont-Blanc 2020 (MB2020) project seeks to initiate the development of a future low-power European processor for Exascale. MB2020 lays the foundation for a European consortium that aims to deliver a processor with great energy efficiency for HPC and server workloads. A first generation product is scheduled in the 2020 time frame.Our target is to reach exascale-level power efficiency (50 Gflops/Watt at processor level) with a second generation planned for 2022. Therefore, within MB2020 we will:

1. define a low-power System-on-Chip (SoC) implementation targeting Exascale, with built-in security and reliability features;

2. introduce strong innovations to improve efficiency with real-life applications and to outperform competition (vectorinstruction implementation, memory latency and bandwidth, power management, 2.5D integration);

3. develop key modules (IPs) needed for this implementation;

4. provide a working prototype demonstrating MB2020 key components and system level simulations, with a co-designapproach based on real-life applications;5. explore the reuse of these building blocks to serve other markets than HPC.

Our key choices are:

  • To use the ARM ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) because its has strong technological relevance and it offers a dynamicecosystem, which is needed to deliver the system software and applications mandatory for successful market acceptance.
  • To design, implement or leverage new technologies (Scalable Vector Extension, NoC, High Bandwidth Memory, PowerManagement, & ) as well as innovative packaging technologies to improve the versatility, performance, power efficiency,reliability, and security of the processor.
  • To improve on the economic sustainability of processor development through a modular design that allows to retarget ourSoC for different markets.