What is an exascale supercomputer and why is Europe trying to build one? – dissection

A German-French consortium says they have begun the process of building continental Europe’s first exascale supercomputer. Called the Joint Undertaking Pioneer for Innovative Exascale Research, or JUPITER, the joint effort aims to build a computer with the computing power of 10 million notebook PCs.

In a press release announcing the ambitious vision, the companies say their supercomputer will be capable of 1 million exaflops per second, a number equal to one million times one million times one million a 1 followed by 18 floating-point zero operations per second. Is.

System applications with this level of extraordinary computing power include the ability to run massive simulations or artificial intelligence applications that are simply too massive to run on the most powerful conventional systems.

According to the JUPITER Consortium, applications for their new exascale supercomputer primarily include training large neural networks such as language models in artificial intelligence, simulations for developing functional materials, creating digital twins of the human heart or brain for medical purposes, validating computers It will be quantum and high. – A resolution simulation of our climate that spans the entire Earth system.

AI systems are already beginning to develop medical treatments and drugs never imagined by humans, so the idea of ​​a system this powerful to tackle these kinds of problems only gives a hint of what the teams involved in building it are thinking. A powerful computer can do.

Exascale supercomputer build timeline to be revealed in November

The system is expected to cost at least €500 million, a tab to be split between three separate partners. Half of the investment comes from the EU budget, and the other half is divided equally between the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (MKW-NRW).

According to the developers, the system they are planning is a modular system, with a highly scalable amplifier module tightly coupled to a cluster module.

The accelerator module features NVIDIA’s Accelerated Computing Platform, designed for next-generation data center technologies to deliver massive scale computing power for artificial intelligence and simulation workloads, as well as systems for training language models, the press release explains. They are used in a similar way to generative artificial intelligence. These types of applications require massive amounts of computing power, which is what the planned exascale supercomputers are intended to provide.

ParTec, Eviden, SiPearl, and NVIDIA are working with the European scientific community on Jupiter to provide researchers with the advanced AI and HPC resources they need to drive the next wave of advances in areas from weather to quantum computing. Consortium announced. Europe’s first exa-scale supercomputer will pioneer new avenues of scientific research and discovery not only in Europe but around the world.

Jupiter hopes to begin construction of its Exascale system early next year, with testing beginning almost immediately through the early access program. While no exact timeline has been given, the group says they will unveil more plans for their supercomputer at next month’s SC23 conference.

Christopher Plein is a science fiction and fantasy novelist and senior science writer at The Debrief. Follow and connect with him on X, learn about his books here plainfiction.comor email him directly christopher@thedebrief.org.

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