Top 500 Article: European Program To Develop Supercomputing Chips Begins To Take Shape

The European Processor Initiative (EPI), an ambitious program to develop a pair of chips for domestic supercomputers, is poised to change the way Europe does HPC. And although the work is still very much in its early stages, it looks like the Europeans have selected their preferred processor architectures: Arm and RISC-V.

Launched in March 2018 by the European Commission, the EPI’s overall aim is to develop domestically produced low-power microprocessors for the European market. Even though the work is focused on delivering chips for HPC, and in particular for exascale supercomputers, the technology will also be applied to the broader datacenter market, as well as the automotive industry. The rationale for this more expansive strategy is provide higher volume markets that can economically sustain the considerable effort involved in chip R&D and support.

The program will develop two types of processors: one for general-purpose HPC processing, the other for throughput acceleration. By the looks of it, an Arm design will the basis for the former, while RISC-V will provide the architecture for the latter. A presentation delivered by Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC) director Mateo Valero in May, reflected some of the current thinking on this strategy, including the roadmap for chip development.

 

To read more, please visit: https://www.top500.org/news/european-program-to-develop-supercomputing-chips-begins-to-take-shape/

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