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CEA Teams With Atos to Develop Exaflop Supercomputer

atosToday Atos announced a contract with the CEA French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission develop a 25 Petaflop supercomputer. Called Tera1000, the new supercomputer will serve as a prototype for a follow-on exascale system.

The CEA/DAM team has been the driving force behind R&D for high-performance computing in France and Europe since the beginning of the 1990s,” said François Geleznikoff, Head of the CEA’s Military Applications Division. “Specifically, the DAM is helping to develop an ecosystem enabling it to produce a competitive, longlasting, sovereign industrial offer of supercomputers in line with its own needs, on the basis of Atos’ high-performance computing technology, the only technology of its kind in Europe. To meet this objective, we have now signed the contract with Atos for the Tera1000 as the successor to two generations of Bull supercomputers produced to our entire satisfaction.”

To deliver an exaflop supercomputer by the year 2020 calls for a number technological breakthroughs in the areas of power efficiency. To this end, CEA decided to apply an early methodology of co-design of the future computers along with Atos as a specialist in the industry.

The contract stipulates an initial phase in 2015 for supply of a preliminary machine to deliver a computation capacity similar to Tera100 for the CEA’s Military Applications Division (“DAM”), using 5 times less electricity. The first component of the system was delivered in April, 2015.

The architecture of the second phase will predesign the new generation of exaflop supercomputers for the 2020s. The prototype, which will be up and running by 2017, will have a computation capacity of 25 petaflops, and an electricity consumption 20 times lower than Tera100 with respect to capacity. Thanks to its partnership with Bull, since 2010, the CEA has been working with Tera100, the first Bull supercomputer to break through the petaflop barrier, the first designed and built in Europe.

The Atos Group is extremely proud the CEA has reconfirmed its confidence in Bull technologies,” said Philippe Vannier, Executive Vice-Chairman Big Data & Security and Chief Technology Officer at the Atos Group. “This forms part of our exascale programme, which seeks to develop a new generation of supercomputers by the year 2020, with exaflop performance, i.e. more than one billion billion operations per second, with a major reduction in electricity consumption.”

In this video from SC14, Pascale Bernier-Bruna from Bull/Atos describes the company’s ambitious plan to deliver Exascale levels of high performance computing in the next decade.

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