Spain leads European project to build world’s most powerful supercomputer

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Energy efficiency of new machine is primary concern for researchers

Barcelona, 29th November 2011.‐ The Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC‐CNS) coordinates the Mont‐Blanc project, which a ims to design a supercomputer with the greatest computing capacity to energy consumption ratio in the world. The main goal of this European project, which will run for three years, is to design a supercomputer based on energy‐efficient technology currently used in cellphones and mobile devices. Researchers expect to achieve a 4 to 10 times improvement in energyefficiency compared with current technologies. Considering that the electrical power available currently sets the performance limit of the supercomputer, this technology would enable systems between 4 and 10 times more powerful to be built.

"In current systems, the processors consume the lion’s share of the power. By contrast, in Mont‐Blanc we will integrate energy‐efficient technology from ARM with accelerators designed for mobile devices to develop a new kind of supercomputer, just as powerful, but much more energy‐efficient", said Alex Ramirez, leader of the Mont‐Blanc project. The project, partially funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme with over eight million Euros in 3 years, brings together leading European technology companies such as Bull, ARM and Gnodal as well as some of the most important supercomputing centers in Europe: JSC and LRZ (Germany), CNRS and GENCI (France), CINECA (Italy) and BSC‐CNS ( Spain).

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