Compute efficiency and energy efficiency are more than ever major concerns for future Exascale systems.
Since October 2011, the aim of the European project called Mont-Blanc has been to design a new type of computer architecture capable of setting future global HPC standards, built from energy efficient solutions used in embedded and mobile devices. Phases 1 and 2 of the project are coordinated by the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and had a budget of over 14 million, including over 8 million Euros funded by the European Commission. Two years later, the European Commission granted additional 8 million Euro funds to extend the Mont-Blanc project activities until September 2016.
This three-year extension enabled further development of the OmpSs parallel programming model to automatically exploit multiple cluster nodes, transparent application check pointing for fault tolerance, support for ARMv8 64-bit processors, and the initial design of the Mont-Blanc Exascale architecture.
The third phase of the Mont-Blanc project started in October 2015: it is coordinated by Bull, the Atos brand for technology products and software, and has a budget of 7.9 million Euros, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme. The third phase adopts a co-design approach to ensure that hardware and system innovations are readily translated into benefits for HPC applications. It aims at designing a new high-end HPC platform that is able to deliver a new level of performance / energy ratio when executing real applications.