Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

European Union invests in 'supercomputers'

"We do not have any supercomputers in the world's top ten", he said. The Commission hopes that the EuroHPC will result in Europe having two supercomputers that are among the top 10 in the world and capable of tens of millions of billions of calculations per second.

The European Union (EU) has launched a new €1 billion project to eventually build the world's fastest supercomputer by 2023; overtaking the likes of the U.S., China, and Japan.

Ansip said the move will help in the development of technologies, including artificial intelligence and the building of applications for use in areas such as health, security, and engineering.

European officials first detailed the initiative, named EuroHPC, in March 2017 but today is the first time that they've spoken about the project's funding details.

"A new legal and funding structure - the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking - shall, acquire, build and deploy across Europe a world-class High-Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure". The initiative will also fund HPC research, including the development of the first generation of European low-power microprocessor technology. That poses a risk that sensitive personal information, trade secrets and other data could leak or be stolen. The EU's contribution to the project, matched by a similar amount from Member States and associated countries, is mainly aimed at speeding up the digitalization of the economy and securing Europe's global competiveness in research and innovation. Companies are also being invited to make contributions. "A better European supercomputing infrastructure holds great potential for job creation and is a key factor for the digitization of industry and increasing the competitiveness of the European economy".

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The resulting systems will be shared by EuroHPC states, which now consist of France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Greece and Croatia.

Although the €1 billion investment is only created to extend out to 2020, the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking is supposed to remain operational until the end of 2026, which presumably will require another round of investments.

The EuroHPC infrastructure will provide European industry and in particular small and medium-sized enterprises with better access to supercomputers to develop innovative products.

According to Brussels, the machines will also help to predict the routes of hurricanes and to simulate earthquakes.

It predicts that with the use of a supercomputer, vehicle production cycles could be reduced "from 60 months to 24 months". Other nations can join, if they give a proportionate financial contribution.

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