A number of European countries joining forces to bid for hosting Europe's fastest supercomputer
The European Union is investing heavily in high performance computing (HPC) to keep Europe globally competitive and to build a sustainable platform for advancing research, innovation and industrial growth.
EuroHPC is a concrete initiative to fund a world-class European supercomputing infrastructure during 2018–2026 to meet the demands of European research and industry. The first ambitious objective of EuroHPC is to acquire at least two pre-exascale systems to Europe by 2020. One exaflop means processor computing power corresponding to 1018 floating point operations per second.
There is a consortium being built, to host one pre-exascale machine and place it in the datacenter of CSC – IT Center for Science, in Kajaani, Finland. The potential consortium members are the Nordic countries Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway together with Switzerland, the Czech Republic, Belgium and the Netherlands. More countries are expected to join the consortium in the future.
– The corner stones of the preparation for our European HPC consortium are Finnish world-class data intensive research and know-how as well as CSC's unique service concept. Boosting our common skills development is the main driver for Finland and the potential partner countries to be part of European HPC development and co-operation. The pre-exascale supercomputer strengthens European co-operation and complements our national supercomputing environments, states Sanni Grahn-Laasonen, Finland's Minister of Education.
Kajaani is located 550 kilometers north of Helsinki, and the CSC datacenter offers many competitive advantages including energy and cost efficiency, societal and geographical stability and high security standards. It provides a perfect environment for a state-of-the-art pre-exascale installation.
– Placing Europe's fastest supercomputer in Finland would significantly strengthen and complement European computing and data management environment. In addition, it would serve European industry and increase expertise in this field. Placing the supercomputer in Finland would create conditions for a wider data cluster. Kajaani is an excellent location for datacenters due to cost-efficiency, environmental sustainability, and high information security, says Mika Lintilä, Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs.
EuroHPC is a great opportunity for Europe
EuroHPC has a jointly-funded total budget of around 1.4 billion euros, this provided by the EU, participating countries and private partners.
The amount of money required from the participating countries depends on the number of countries in the consortium and the number of pre-exascale computers deployed. EuroHPC is envisioning to have at least two pre-exascale computers deployed by 2020, with a total budget of around 500 million euros.
The EuroHPC call for selection of hosting entities is open, and the first decisions will be made in summer 2019.
Finland is one of the best locations for datacenters thanks to low operating costs and safe conditions. The total electricity cost for industries in Finland is one of the lowest in Europe, being only €55 per MWh in 2016 (EU average €114 per MWh, according to Eurostat). CSC has both knowledge and experience in covering the entire lifecycle of an HPC center from planning and construction to maintenance and usage, as well as a solid track record of planning and implementing six fully equipped, functional datacenters since 1989.
– This consortium provides a high-quality, cost-effective and environmentally sustainable ecosystem based on European collaboration. Purchasing supercomputers alone will not ensure Europe a leading place in innovation and science without the necessary training and skills development. Thus, the consortium builds on a solid tradition of collaboration in HPC and data management, and each of the consortium partners has a long history of providing reliable and future proof services. EuroHPC is a great opportunity for the consortium countries, strengthening and complementing the national data management and computing environment and boosting the competitiveness of whole Europe, says Kimmo Koski, CSC's Managing Director.
EuroHPC will be developing exascale supercomputers based on competitive European technology, that could be acquired around 2022–2023, and would be ranking among the top three supercomputers in the world.
IMAGE: ADOBE STOCK
CSC is a Finnish center of expertise in ICT that provides world-class services for research, education, culture, public administration and enterprises, to help them thrive and benefit society at large. www.csc.fi.
Managing Director, CSC
p. +358 503 819 777
kimmo.koski (at) csc.fi
Development Manager, CSC
p. +358 503 812 831
pekka.manninen (at) csc.fi