EU finalizes its first ExaFLOP-class supercomputer, Using Arm processor and NVIDIA computing card

For years, supercomputers have continuously shattered computational boundaries, transcending from MegaFLOP to GigaFLOP, from TeraFLOP to PetaFLOP, and now to the illustrious ExaFLOP realm. Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States christened ‘Frontier’ as the vanguard supercomputer to genuinely achieve ExaFLOP-caliber performance, capable of executing quintillions of operations. The esteemed High-Performance Linpack (HPL) benchmark showcased a staggering computational prowess of 1.194 Exaflop/s.

According to HPCWire, the European Union has greenlit its inaugural ExaFLOP-class supercomputing system, codenamed “Jupiter”. It will be fueled by Arm-architecture CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs, offering unparalleled computational capabilities. With a grand budget of 273 million euros, the project is spearheaded by the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) alongside tech firms Eviden and ParTec, with installation commencing in a mere trimester. While Arm-based CPUs have witnessed meteoric ascension in recent years, their presence in the supercomputing domain remains relatively sparse; only one among the top ten supercomputers currently harnesses Arm architecture.

Whispers in the tech corridors suggest Jupiter will deploy SiPearl’s Rhea CPU. SiPearl, a distinguished chip design enterprise nestled in France, primarily crafts Arm-based chips tailored for supercomputers. The Rhea is sculpted upon the Arm Neoverse V1 platform, though its precise performance metrics remain veiled in mystery. Paired with the Rhea is NVIDIA’s eminent H100 compute card, a product whose formidable capabilities need little fanfare.

The EU’s Jupiter supercomputing initiative epitomizes Europe’s fervent ambition to cement its stature as a formidable player in the global tech arena. Opting for Rhea marks a significant stride towards technological self-reliance. Beyond Jupiter, the EU is engrossed in conceptualizing its second ExaFLOP-class supercomputer, nestled in France, anticipated to be operational by 2025.