The BSC, candidate to host one of the two largest supercomputers of the EU for 2021

25 March 2019

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center will submit its candidacy to host one of the pre-exascale supercomputers that will be functional in the European Union (EU) in the beginning of 2021.

The management of the center has informed that a proposal for the call made by the EuroHPC-Joint Undertaking is under preparation, whose aim is to know which centers are interested in hosting these infrastructures, which will be cofounded by the European Commission (EC) and the states that support each equipment.

Should BSC’s proposal be accepted, the center would host a supercomputer with a peak velocity of 200 petaflops/s, which should come into operation during the last trimester of 2020.

This European call is the result of the agreement between 26 state members of the EU and the EC to cofound a European roadmap for HPC (High Performance Computing), whose aim is to foster the development of European HPC technologies and to buy at least two pre-exascale supercomputers to come into operation during the last part of 2020, as well as at least two exascale supercomputers to come into operation in 2023. This initiative is being carried out through the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC-JU), the entity created by the Commission and the states in order to manage this operation.

The EuroHPC-JU call establishes that the pre-exascale supercomputers should be able to execute at least 150 petaflops/s of sustained performance measured by the Linpack benchmark, and it should also be able to meet the needs of a large field of applications.

It also establishes conditions as regards the infrastructures that will host these supercomputers: the experience of the candidate host to install and operate similar systems, and the quality of the service to users, among others.

BSC’s candidacy counts on the economic commitment of its trustees (the Spanish government, the Catalan government and the UPC), and also on the Portuguese government, to cover the 50% of the purchase cost of the supercomputer, as well as its operation for 5 years. The EC would cover the rest of the cost.

The future MareNostrum 5, which would be much larger than the current MareNostrum 4, would be distributed between the Torre Girona chapel and the site that is being built in the new corporative building of the BSC, two adjoining buildings connected by different tunnels.

The deadline to submit the candidacy for the EuroHPC-Joint Undertaking call ends on April 4th and its resolution will be announced on June 7th.