BSC hosts the EuroExa Project Kick Off Meeting

06 September 2017

Today, 16 organisations met at the Barcelona Supercomputer Centre to mark the start of the EuroEXA project and the commencement of the execution in the next stage of EU investment towards realising Exa-Scale computing in Europe.

The growing importance of HPC technology was recently reinforced with ministers from nine European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Belgium and Slovenia) signing a declaration to support the next generation of computing and data infrastructures, a European project of the size of Airbus in the 1990s and of Galileo in the 2000s. The aim is to deploy the integrated world-class high-performance computing infrastructure capable of a billion, billion calculations per second, known as an Exa-Scale system. This will be available across the EU for scientific communities, industry and the public sector, no matter where the users are located.

EuroEXA is a program that represents a significant EU investment to innovate across a new ground-breaking platform for computing in its support to deliver Exa-Scale computing. Originally the informal name for a group of H2020 research projects, ExaNeSt, EcoScale and ExaNoDe, EuroEXA today announces an EU investment in European excellence to further develop these technologies in its bid to deliver EU based supercomputers.

This €20m investment over a 42-month period is part of a total €50m investment made by the EC across the EuroEXA group of projects supporting research, innovation and action across applications, system software, hardware, networking, storage, liquid cooling and data centre technologies. Together bringing the technologies required to enable the digital economy, the future of computers, and the drive towards Exa-Scale capability.

Funded under H2020-EU.1.2.2. FET Proactive (FETHPC-2016-01) as a result of a competitive selection process, the consortium partners bring a rich mix of key applications from across climate/weather, physics/energy and life-science/bioinformatics. The project objectives include to develop and deploy an ARM Cortex technology processing system with Xilinx Ultrascale+ FPGA acceleration at peta-flop level by 2020, it is hoped that this will enable an Exa-Scale procurement for deployment in 2022/23.

“BSC has been a partner in all three generations of the EuroExa family: from EUROSERVER to ExaNoDe, and now EuroExa. We will provide programming model and system software support to allow portable applications to take full advantage of the EuroExa architecture, and we will tune and evaluate the approach using full-scale applications, including BSC’s Alya Multiphysics”, says Paul Carpenter, Senior Researcher of the Computer Science department and principal investigator of the EuroExa project at BSC.

BSC’s contributions will include extensions to the Nanos runtime system to support the dataflow accelerators and FPGAs, as well as to optimize resiliency. BSC will also develop the system’s optimized MPI library and provide a batch scheduler that leverages the memory capacity sharing feature of UNIMEM. BSC is also leading the work to understand and quantify the whole system resiliency problem.

As part of the H2020 competitive process, the 16 organisations of EuroEXA have been selected for their technologies and capabilities from across 8 Countries: ARM - UK, ICCS (Institute Of Communication And Computer Systems) - Greece, The University Of Manchester - UK, BSC (Barcelona Supercomputing Center) - Spain, FORTH (Foundation For Research And Technology Hellas) - Greece, The Hartree Centre of STFC - UK, IMEC - Belgium, ZeroPoint Technologies - Sweden, Iceotope - UK, Synelixis Solutions Ltd - Greece , Maxeler Technologies – United Kingdom, Neurasmus - Netherlands, INFN (Istituto Nazionale Di Fisica Nucleare) - Italy, INAF (Istituto Nazionale Di Astrofisica) - Italy, ECMWF (European Centre For Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) - International, And Fraunhofer – Germany

Further information: EuroExa: European co-design for exascale applications