HiPEAC’s Vision for a New Cyber Era, a ‘Continuum of Computing’

By Tiffany Trader

January 21, 2021

Earlier this week (Jan. 19), HiPEAC — the European Network on High Performance and Embedded Architecture and Compilation — published the 8th edition of the HiPEAC Vision, detailing an increasingly interconnected computing landscape where complex tasks are carried out across multiple systems and multiple technologies. HiPEAC refers to this as the “Continuum of Computing.”

“We are now seeing a continuum of computing that spans from tiny devices on the edge to huge global-scale distributed systems,” the report notes. “The emergence of new workloads such as deep learning and large-scale industrial cyber-physical systems has led to a series of new challenges related to non-functional properties such as power consumption, timing, complexity, security, safety and sustainability.”

“The 2021 Vision looks at how all the pieces can – and should – fit together,” says Professor Koen De Bosschere (Ghent University), the HiPEAC network coordinator. The guiding principle and ultimate goal is to “keep it simple for humans, and let the computer do the hard work.”

The 228-page document (accessible here) describes a technological vision in full bloom since the birth of the internet some three decades ago. Familiar topics such as IoT, cybersecurity, “as-a-service” trends, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, etc. are explored holistically under the “continuum of computing” rubric and via the lens of four core dimensions — societal, business, European and technical.

The confluence of multiple ripening technologies is setting the stage for a new cyber era, and the emergence of the “next web,” where distributed intelligence is both the goal and the challenge.

“We are now truly in the era of cyber-physical systems – think of self-driving cars, healthcare monitoring devices or factory automation – and these systems are going to be enhanced with artificial intelligence. This will bring with it increased need for trust, autonomy, safety, security and efficiency,” observes HiPEAC Vision Coordinator Marc Duranton (CEA). “Systems will need to work more and more with each other, and applications will be distributed, becoming a ‘continuum of computing’ across platforms and devices, from the deep edge to the cloud, HPC and data centres.”

Duranton and co-authors Michael Malms and Marcin Ostas explain:

“[A]pplications are [no longer] built around a single piece of code running on a single machine, but span across various computing resources distributed in multiple locations. The notion of a continuum of computing … denotes a set of computing resources and software (the smartphone, the communication infrastructure, the cloud) acting together in order to complete a complex task involving multiple systems and multiple technologies,” they write in one article-chapter (“The continuum of computing”).

Software is also becoming increasingly distributed, they observe. It too is becoming a “continuum of computing” across platforms and devices, at the edge, the datacenter and in the cloud. 

“Programming will need to be reinvented with languages and tools to orchestrate collaborative distributed and decentralized components, as well as components augmented with interface contracts covering both functional and non-functional properties,” the authors assert. “Data collected by deep-edge devices is concentrated and processed by edge computing, consolidated by federations of systems (fog computing) or, if required, travels to the cloud or to HPC centres to feed simulations that facilitate decisions on actions to be taken, e.g. for managing fleets of vehicles, complex factories or air traffic, therefore closing the loop.”

In another article-chapter (“The position of Europe in the world”), De Bosschere holds that the number one computational market opportunity for Europe is embedded systems, including IoT, cyber-physical systems (CPS), and edge intelligence.

“Europe has the second largest economy in the world, it has a number of world-class players producing the key enabling technology for advanced embedded systems, and it has strong transportation and health industries,” he writes. “Furthermore, there are no non-European dominant companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon or Microsoft (GAFAM) in this space yet. The stars of the CPS era will probably not be the same as those of the internet era (which are different from those of the mainframe era). Could the company dominating computing in 2030 be European? The only way to win this race is to create as many innovative start-ups as possible, support them to scale up, and hope that they will become world leaders.”

To propel the adoption of its recommendations, HiPEAC is proposing a multidisciplinary moonshot ‘‘Guardian Angels” program, which draws from existing technologies across disciplines to protect the assets of internet users and ensure a trustworthy interface between the real world and cyberspace.

At the core of the program are advanced trusted orchestrators, called “Guardian Angels,” lightweight “loyal to user” applications that protect connected devices. This goal is to set the stage for the “next web,” HiPEAC’s term for the distributed digital platform that will “intertwine the cyber and physical worlds for industrial and personal use, … overcoming the fragmentation of vertically-oriented closed systems, the heterogeneity and the lack of interoperability.”

HiPEAC notes that the rapid computing transformations in the last decade have also inspired a new cadence for disseminating its vision. Instead of following an every two year cadence, HiPEAC is moving towards a continuous publishing model. In addition to the set of recommendations for the HiPEAC community, they are producing topical articles at regular intervals. “This will guarantee that the HiPEAC Vision keeps evolving and remains up to date,” note the authors.

Commissioned by the European Commission, the vision report promotes European interests, however much of the the analysis and guidance apply broadly; there’s something for everyone working in the digital economy.

It will come as no surprise that the impact of COVID-19 features prominently in this edition. The authors note the pandemic “has made clear that the current infrastructure is not yet able to support generalized remote activities such as teaching, working, shopping, and streaming.”

Here’s a sampling of the nearly 30 articles in the 2021 HiPEAC Vision report:

Reversing John von Neumann and Steve Jobs, but not software By Thomas Hoberg

Privacy: whether you’re aware of it or not, it does matter! By Bart Coppens and Olivier Zendra 

Taming the IT systems complexity hydra By Olivier Zendra and Koen De Bosschere 

Silicon technology is still in the game By Carlo Reita, Sandrine Cheramy and Marc Duranton

Towards operational quantum computing? Or: thinking beyond qubits By Christian Gamrat

Silicon technology is still in the game By Carlo Reita, Sandrine Cheramy and Marc Duranton

AI for a better society By Koen De Bosschere

COVID-19 is more than a pandemic By Koen De Bosschere

Rethinking education By Koen De Bosschere and Tullio Vardaneg

Extreme reuse: the only future any code can afford By Thomas Hoberg

Everything as a service By Koen De Bosschere and Marc Duranton

Access the full report here – link to PDF

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industry updates delivered to you every week!

Empowering High-Performance Computing for Artificial Intelligence

April 19, 2024

Artificial intelligence (AI) presents some of the most challenging demands in information technology, especially concerning computing power and data movement. As a result of these challenges, high-performance computing Read more…

Kathy Yelick on Post-Exascale Challenges

April 18, 2024

With the exascale era underway, the HPC community is already turning its attention to zettascale computing, the next of the 1,000-fold performance leaps that have occurred about once a decade. With this in mind, the ISC Read more…

2024 Winter Classic: Texas Two Step

April 18, 2024

Texas Tech University. Their middle name is ‘tech’, so it’s no surprise that they’ve been fielding not one, but two teams in the last three Winter Classic cluster competitions. Their teams, dubbed Matador and Red Read more…

2024 Winter Classic: The Return of Team Fayetteville

April 18, 2024

Hailing from Fayetteville, NC, Fayetteville State University stayed under the radar in their first Winter Classic competition in 2022. Solid students for sure, but not a lot of HPC experience. All good. They didn’t Read more…

Software Specialist Horizon Quantum to Build First-of-a-Kind Hardware Testbed

April 18, 2024

Horizon Quantum Computing, a Singapore-based quantum software start-up, announced today it would build its own testbed of quantum computers, starting with use of Rigetti’s Novera 9-qubit QPU. The approach by a quantum Read more…

2024 Winter Classic: Meet Team Morehouse

April 17, 2024

Morehouse College? The university is well-known for their long list of illustrious graduates, the rigor of their academics, and the quality of the instruction. They were one of the first schools to sign up for the Winter Read more…

Kathy Yelick on Post-Exascale Challenges

April 18, 2024

With the exascale era underway, the HPC community is already turning its attention to zettascale computing, the next of the 1,000-fold performance leaps that ha Read more…

Software Specialist Horizon Quantum to Build First-of-a-Kind Hardware Testbed

April 18, 2024

Horizon Quantum Computing, a Singapore-based quantum software start-up, announced today it would build its own testbed of quantum computers, starting with use o Read more…

MLCommons Launches New AI Safety Benchmark Initiative

April 16, 2024

MLCommons, organizer of the popular MLPerf benchmarking exercises (training and inference), is starting a new effort to benchmark AI Safety, one of the most pre Read more…

Exciting Updates From Stanford HAI’s Seventh Annual AI Index Report

April 15, 2024

As the AI revolution marches on, it is vital to continually reassess how this technology is reshaping our world. To that end, researchers at Stanford’s Instit Read more…

Intel’s Vision Advantage: Chips Are Available Off-the-Shelf

April 11, 2024

The chip market is facing a crisis: chip development is now concentrated in the hands of the few. A confluence of events this week reminded us how few chips Read more…

The VC View: Quantonation’s Deep Dive into Funding Quantum Start-ups

April 11, 2024

Yesterday Quantonation — which promotes itself as a one-of-a-kind venture capital (VC) company specializing in quantum science and deep physics  — announce Read more…

Nvidia’s GTC Is the New Intel IDF

April 9, 2024

After many years, Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) was back in person and has become the conference for those who care about semiconductors and AI. I Read more…

Google Announces Homegrown ARM-based CPUs 

April 9, 2024

Google sprang a surprise at the ongoing Google Next Cloud conference by introducing its own ARM-based CPU called Axion, which will be offered to customers in it Read more…

Nvidia H100: Are 550,000 GPUs Enough for This Year?

August 17, 2023

The GPU Squeeze continues to place a premium on Nvidia H100 GPUs. In a recent Financial Times article, Nvidia reports that it expects to ship 550,000 of its lat Read more…

Synopsys Eats Ansys: Does HPC Get Indigestion?

February 8, 2024

Recently, it was announced that Synopsys is buying HPC tool developer Ansys. Started in Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1970 as Swanson Analysis Systems, Inc. (SASI) by John Swanson (and eventually renamed), Ansys serves the CAE (Computer Aided Engineering)/multiphysics engineering simulation market. Read more…

Intel’s Server and PC Chip Development Will Blur After 2025

January 15, 2024

Intel's dealing with much more than chip rivals breathing down its neck; it is simultaneously integrating a bevy of new technologies such as chiplets, artificia Read more…

Choosing the Right GPU for LLM Inference and Training

December 11, 2023

Accelerating the training and inference processes of deep learning models is crucial for unleashing their true potential and NVIDIA GPUs have emerged as a game- Read more…

Baidu Exits Quantum, Closely Following Alibaba’s Earlier Move

January 5, 2024

Reuters reported this week that Baidu, China’s giant e-commerce and services provider, is exiting the quantum computing development arena. Reuters reported � Read more…

Comparing NVIDIA A100 and NVIDIA L40S: Which GPU is Ideal for AI and Graphics-Intensive Workloads?

October 30, 2023

With long lead times for the NVIDIA H100 and A100 GPUs, many organizations are looking at the new NVIDIA L40S GPU, which it’s a new GPU optimized for AI and g Read more…

Shutterstock 1179408610

Google Addresses the Mysteries of Its Hypercomputer 

December 28, 2023

When Google launched its Hypercomputer earlier this month (December 2023), the first reaction was, "Say what?" It turns out that the Hypercomputer is Google's t Read more…


How AMD May Get Across the CUDA Moat

October 5, 2023

When discussing GenAI, the term "GPU" almost always enters the conversation and the topic often moves toward performance and access. Interestingly, the word "GPU" is assumed to mean "Nvidia" products. (As an aside, the popular Nvidia hardware used in GenAI are not technically... Read more…

Leading Solution Providers


Shutterstock 1606064203

Meta’s Zuckerberg Puts Its AI Future in the Hands of 600,000 GPUs

January 25, 2024

In under two minutes, Meta's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, laid out the company's AI plans, which included a plan to build an artificial intelligence system with the eq Read more…

China Is All In on a RISC-V Future

January 8, 2024

The state of RISC-V in China was discussed in a recent report released by the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. The report, entitled "E Read more…

Shutterstock 1285747942

AMD’s Horsepower-packed MI300X GPU Beats Nvidia’s Upcoming H200

December 7, 2023

AMD and Nvidia are locked in an AI performance battle – much like the gaming GPU performance clash the companies have waged for decades. AMD has claimed it Read more…

Nvidia’s New Blackwell GPU Can Train AI Models with Trillions of Parameters

March 18, 2024

Nvidia's latest and fastest GPU, codenamed Blackwell, is here and will underpin the company's AI plans this year. The chip offers performance improvements from Read more…

Eyes on the Quantum Prize – D-Wave Says its Time is Now

January 30, 2024

Early quantum computing pioneer D-Wave again asserted – that at least for D-Wave – the commercial quantum era has begun. Speaking at its first in-person Ana Read more…

GenAI Having Major Impact on Data Culture, Survey Says

February 21, 2024

While 2023 was the year of GenAI, the adoption rates for GenAI did not match expectations. Most organizations are continuing to invest in GenAI but are yet to Read more…

The GenAI Datacenter Squeeze Is Here

February 1, 2024

The immediate effect of the GenAI GPU Squeeze was to reduce availability, either direct purchase or cloud access, increase cost, and push demand through the roof. A secondary issue has been developing over the last several years. Even though your organization secured several racks... Read more…

Intel’s Xeon General Manager Talks about Server Chips 

January 2, 2024

Intel is talking data-center growth and is done digging graves for its dead enterprise products, including GPUs, storage, and networking products, which fell to Read more…

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow