Leading European supercomputing centres join forces in procurement process for innovative HPC systems

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European HPC centres have officially opened a market consultation for the purchase of HPC systems as part of the Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions for High-Performance Computing (PPI4HPC) project. This procurement takes place within the PPI4HPC project funded by the European Commission under the call EINFRA-21-2017.

It involves four public procurers (BSC, CINECA, FZJ/JSC and GENCI) located in four different countries (Spain, Italy, Germany and France) working together in a joint procurement.

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. In combination, these systems are expected to power a wide range of applications, including traditional HPC applications, HPDA and AI. They are also expected to be used for common innovation topics.

This joint procurement aims at supporting:

  • Science and engineering applications in Europe within PRACE, the pan-European HPC infrastructure, by providing more computing resources.
  • R&I on HPC architectures and technologies in Europe, strengthened by this joint procurement and the coordinated deployment of supercomputers incorporating innovative solutions. This will require strong relationships and possibly collaboration between the procurers and the suppliers for large-scale testing, tuning and maturation.
  • Greater influence and more impact on common topics of innovation and on the design of HPC solutions which will meet the needs of scientists and engineers in Europe by a coordinated approach.

The public procurers involved will organize an Open Dialogue Event (ODE) whose aim is to inform all interested suppliers about their expectations and plans, as well as to gather feedback from the market. The ODE will take place on 6 September 2017 in Brussels. All interested suppliers and parties are invited to participate in this event (with a maximum of two representatives per company).

Apropos Italy (Cineca), the goal of the lot is to procure a new supercomputing system that will replace the throughput partition of MARCONI installed in the CINECA's data centre. With the deploy of the new system, targeted in the second part of 2019, CINECA aims to reach a computing power of the order of tens PFlops featuring node architecture that maximize the performance throughput per energy unit. The new system will support the CINECA's commitment to provide leading edge innovative computing resources to European research as a PRACE Tier-0 hosting member.
The procured resource integrated in the MARCONI infrastructure will represent a new step towards the architectural convergence between high performance computing and high performance data analytics (data-centric architecture) and will be able to run computing and data intensive workloads, with particular relevance towards high energy efficiency solutions. In this regard, the system will benefit from innovative hardware and software solutions that aim to reduce power consumption, improve power management, enhance I/O performance, to help making supercomputing sustainable toward exascale for a broad range of scientific application.