PPI4HPC in a nutshell

Bringing computing services to the next level of research excellence

A little bit of background

The European Commission stresses the need for building an European Data Infrastructure including high-end supercomputers, which will reach around 2022 a much more advanced performance level. In the PPI4HPC project, a group of leading European supercomputing centres established the formation of a buyers group to run a joint Public Procurement of Innovative Solutions (PPI) in the area of high-performance computing (HPC).

The team behind the work

The involved HPC centres, namely BSC, CEA/GENCI, CINECA and JUELICH, have a strong track record in providing supercomputing resources at the European level and are founding and active members of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE).

The process

The joint procurement, led by GENCI as lead procurer, was organised was organised in four independent lots leading to the awarding of contracts for systems deployed at four different European research sites. These systems include innovative high-performance supercomputers and storage system for science and engineering applications.

The benefits

PPI4HPC helps to significantly enhance the planned pre-exascale HPC infrastructure and sets an example for joint European investments in the future.

  • More innovative supercomputing resources for science and engineering applications in Europe
  • Strengthened European research and development on HPC technologies
  • Innovation in the design of the solutions needed by scientists and engineers in Europe

Procured systems

Click on each system below to find out more about its characteristics and ways of access.

Through PPI4HPC, the Joliot-Curie supercomputer at CEA received its latest extension making it the first operational supercomputer worldwide to include the AMD next-generation processors in late 2019. This solution ensures a fast and efficient porting of scientific applications on upcoming denser architectures, while guaranteeing an optimal sustained Watt per GFlops ratio.

 

In early 2020, CINECA acquired its newest racks via the PPI4HPC procurement process. The new accelerated cluster has a peak computing capacity of 32 PFlops/s and is available to the European public and industrial researchers. This system opens the way to the pre-exascale Leonardo supercomputer expected to be installed in 2021.

 

Thanks to PPI4HPC, BSC obtained in early 2020 a High-Performance Analytics compute infrastructure to run data analytics operations with the latest Power microprocessors and NVMe PCIe local storage to accelerate the workloads. This solution architecture comprises a storage infrastructure that is able to scale to more than 100 Pbytes as a unique file space or file system.

 

Via the PPI4HPC procurement process, Juelich will be able to commission a new Cluster module during the second half of 2020. Its innovative features will include next generation processors that will improve energy-to-solution for applications and increase performance-per floor space, as well as advanced power management capabilities and advantaged storage management software.

  • Details on how to obtain resources on the system are to be announced.
  • Find out more here.

 

What is HPC? What is public procurement? What is PRACE?

High-performance computing (HPC), also known as supercomputing, involves thousands of processors working in parallel to analyse billions of pieces of data in real time, performing calculations thousands of times faster than a normal computer. In the digital era, it is at the core of major advances and innovation and a strategic resource for Europe's future.

Read more here.

Public procurement refers to the process by which public bodies, such as government departments or local authorities, purchase work, goods or services from companies. Public procurement has many benefits for the EU public authorities and services and is applied in various sectors.

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PRACE is an international not-for-profit association which aims to enable high-impact research across all disciplines to enhance European competitiveness for the benefit of society. PRACE seeks to realise this mission by offering world class computing and data management resources and services through a peer review process.

Read more here.