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High Performance Computing

In the digital decade, high performance computing is at the core of major advances and innovation, and a strategic resource for Europe's future.

European Commission - Exscalate4Cov project : supercomputing to identify new therapies for COVID-19

High performance computing (HPC) refers to computing systems with extremely high computational power that are able to solve hugely complex and demanding problems.

In today’s world, more and more data is constantly being generated, from 33 zettabytes globally in 2018 to an expected 175 zettabytes in 2025 (1 zettabyte is equal to 1 trillion gigabytes). As a result, the nature of computing is changing, with an increasing number of data-intensive critical applications.

HPC is key to processing and analysing this growing volume of data, and to making the most of it for the benefit of citizens, businesses, researchers and public administrations.

HPC can be used in a large number of application areas: from monitoring and mitigating the effects of climate change and producing safer and greener vehicles to increasing cybersecurity and advancing the frontiers of knowledge in nearly every scientific field.

It is also starting to play a key role in medicine: HPC can be used in drug design, from testing drug candidate molecules to repositioning existing drugs for new diseases. And, it can help us understand the origins and evolution of epidemics and diseases. Supercomputers are actively involved in the quest for treatments for COVID-19.

Moreover, HPC has proved to be of great importance in developing new applications and products. It has a direct impact on the digital supply chain, such as designing new materials, cars and aeroplanes, and bioengineering and manufacturing.

Today, world-class supercomputers are able to perform more than 10¹⁵ — at least one million billion, operations per second (petascale performance). A  few top-of-the-range systems exceed 10¹⁷— at least one hundred million billion, operations per second (pre-exascale performance). The next generation (exascale) will perform more than one billion billion (10¹⁸) operations per second, a computing power level comparable to aggregating the computing capabilities of the mobile phones of the EU’s entire population. The world’s first exascale supercomputer is expected to be operational in 2021.

HPC is one of the key digital domains where the EU's investment is due to significantly increase in the next Multiannual Financial Framework (2021-2027). Moreover, supercomputing will play a key role in Europe’s path towards recovery, as it has been identified a strategic investment priority.

Latest

Vega: launch of the first world-class supercomputer in the EU

The European Commission together with the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking and the Government of Slovenia have inaugurated the operation of the Vega Supercomputer at a high-level ceremony in Maribor, Slovenia on Monday. This marks the launch of a first EU supercomputer procured jointly with EU and Member State funds, with a joint investment of 17.2 million.

EU invests almost €7 million in European world-class supercomputing in Portugal

Today the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking, which pools European resources to buy and deploy world-class supercomputers and technologies, announced the signature for a contract worth €20 million for a new supercomputing system: Deucalion in Portugal. The EU will contribute nearly €7 million to the cost of the supercomputer, which will be capable of up to 10 petaflops or 10 million billion calculations per second, and will be hosted by the Minho Advanced Computing Centre (MACC).

EU invests further in European world-class supercomputing in Bulgaria

The European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking, which pools European resources to buy and deploy world-class supercomputers and technologies, announced this week the signature for a contract worth €11.5 million for a new supercomputing system in Bulgaria. The new system will be capable of more than 4.4 petaflops, and will be hosted by Sofiatech.

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