Europe Sets Sept. Date to Discuss Supercomputer Requirements

By John Russell

July 10, 2017

Europe will take another step towards developing and deploying pre-exascale systems in September when four European supercomputing centers and vendors gather at an Open Dialogue Event to discuss systems requirements and gather market feedback. The meeting, announced last week and scheduled for September 6 in Brussels, is part of the Europe’s Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions for High-Performance Computing (PPI4HPC) project.

The four public procurers include Barcelona Supercomputing Center (Spain)), CINECA (Italy), Jülich Supercomputing Centre (Germany) and GENCI (France). They are working together in a joint procurement process which is being characterized as “a first in the area of high-performance computing (HPC).” The total investment planned will be about € 73 million.

“The aim is for each public procurer to buy an innovative, high-performance supercomputer and/or innovative high-performance storage system that will be integrated into their computing centre. These systems are expected to be deployed in the 2019-2021 timeframe.” The systems are expected to accommodate a wide range of applications, including traditional HPC applications, HPDA and AI. They are also expected to be used for common innovation topics in the EU community.

Here’s a brief description of PPI4HPC’s goal and process taken from its launch announcement last April.

“The Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions for High-Performance Computing (PPI4HPC) gathers the leading European supercomputing centres as a buyers group to execute a joint Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) in the area of high-performance computing (HPC). The participants will work together on coordinated roadmaps for providing HPC resources optimised to the needs of European scientists and engineers. The final decision on which innovative solutions will be procured at the different sites will be made following these roadmaps, but remain a decision of the individual sites.

“For the first time in Europe, a joint European procurement of innovative HPC systems, performed by a consortium of hosting members and hosting centres of the PRACE e-Infrastructure – a world-class environment capable of achieving global leadership. In order to address major scientific, industrial and societal challenges, and to maintain Europe competitiveness within a global race involving USA, China, and Japan the European Commission has implemented a vision towards the establishment of a strong and competitive HPC integrated ecosystem in Europe.”

The upcoming September Open Dialogue Event is open all interested suppliers with a maximum of two representatives by company.

Link to the press release: https://ppi4hpc.eu/news/leading-european-supercomputing-centres-join-forces-procurement-process-innovative-hpc-systems

Link to PPI4HPC site: https://ppi4hpc.eu

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