Major European suppliers of High Performance Computing (HPC) technologies, Allinea, ARM, Bull, Caps Entreprise, Eurotech, ParTec, ST Microelectronics and Xyratex associated with HPC research centres BSC, CEA, Cineca, Fraunhofer, Forschungzentrum Juelich and LRZ have decided to combine forces to create a European Technology Platform (ETP), building on the previous work of PROSPECT and Teratec.
The objective of the ETP is to define Europe’s research priorities to develop European technology on all the segments of the HPC solution supply chain. It will strengthen European competitiveness in HPC, a key capability for future research and innovation. The effort will be beneficial to a wide range of social and economic challenges. HPC is an indispensable instrument to resolve problems of the highest complexity that require extremely large and very efficient computational and storage capabilities for activities such as modelling natural phenomena (weather, climate change or epidemics), optimizing energy resources, researching novel materials and shortening engineering development cycles which would foster innovation across the region.
The ETP will be an industrial led forum that will propose a Strategic Research Agenda taking advantage of European industry strengths to increase the value created in Europe from future HPC systems. Currently the design of supercomputer solutions faces significant challenges such as management of the extreme parallelism experienced in HPC architectures or the reduction of the power consumption addressing these presents opportunities for European players to improve their position in the worldwide market.
To achieve these objectives the current consortium will set up an organization that will be open to any businesses, groups or individuals who have R&D activities in any aspect of HPC and are located in Europe. The goal is to bring together all the research forces in Europe including R&D activities of SMEs, European corporations, international corporations and research centres to benefit from their competences and to foster these capabilities by proposing an ambitious research plan to the European Commission.
The consortium will act promptly to create the ETP and to propose a Vision Paper. The ETP will prepare the Strategic Research Agenda seeking acknowledgement from the European Commission to provide inputs towards the Horizon 2020 program that will define the future European research objectives.
This initiative is an important step to encourage and strengthen the position of the European HPC industry. The impressive set of competences of the members gathered on this initiative show that Europe can be at the forefront of the HPC industry in the coming years if an ambitious R&D program is put in place. The ETP will provide the catalyst for such a movement and the impact will be a stronger European HPC industry that will create employment, added value and a stimulus for students and academic researchers in the area. Through this improved capability and capacity, HPC users will gain the ability to achieve new results in science and technology and to design more innovative products and services.