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EU Makes EUR 1B Bid to Boost Supercomputer Efforts

Tuesday Jan 16th 2018 by Sean Michael Kerner

ServerWatch: EuroHPC joint undertaking aims to build and deploy High Performance Computing Infrastructure across Europe.

The market for High-Performance Computing (HPC) has increasingly been dominated in recent years by China. Now the European Union (EU) is aiming to get back into the hunt with a new initiative called the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking.

The goal of the EuroHPC effort is to acquire, build and deploy a world-class High-Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure. The effort will also involve the development of application software that will run on the HPC infrastructure.

The EU will contribute EUR 486 million, which will be matched by Member States and associated countries. According to the EU, approximately EUR 1 billion in total will be invested in the effort by 2020.

"Supercomputers are the engine to power the digital economy," Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, stated. "It is a tough race and today the EU is lagging behind: we do not have any supercomputers in the world's top ten. "

The most recent edition of the top supercomputers in the world was released in November 2017. The top system in the world according to the November 2017 list is the Sunway TaihuLight, which is deployed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China. The Sunway TaihuLight has held the number one position on the Top 500 list since June 2016.

The U.S. is currently poised to take the title of top supercomputer in 2018 with the CORAL Summit System, which is being built by IBM and will have a peak of 200 petaflops of performance.

An Investment for Future Innovation

The EU is investing in HPC not as a matter of pride, but rather as an opportunity for future innovation.

"Supercomputers are already at the core of major advancements and innovations in many areas directly affecting the daily lives of European citizens," Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society in the European Commission, stated. "They can help us to develop personalized medicine, save energy and fight against climate change more efficiently."

"A better European supercomputing infrastructure holds great potential for job creation and is a key factor for the digitization of industry and increasing the competitiveness of the European economy," Gabriel added.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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