With a focus on addressing the needs of the European industry (including the car manufacturing market) with made-in-Europe compute power at the exascale, the project is part of the EU’s strategic plans in HPC, bringing a low-power microprocessor to market while ensuring that the key competences for high-end chip design remain in Europe.
The EPI consortium includes experts in all the relevant areas for such a major undertaking: the High-Performance Computing research community, major supercomputing centres, the computer system, automotive, and silicon industry, as well as the potential scientific and industrial users. Through a co-design approach, EPI will design and develop the first European HPC System for the HPC and automotive markets through several major deliverables including an HPC general purpose processor, an accelerator, and an automotive platform.
The Initiative is part of a broader strategy implemented by the European Union via its legal and funding entity – the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU), pooling the Union’s and national resources on HPC to acquire, build, and deploy in Europe the most powerful supercomputers worldwide.
It is anticipated that the new European-developed technologies will enable European researchers from academia and industry to access HPC systems at exceptional levels of energy-efficient performance, contributing to Europe’s scientific leadership, industrial competitiveness, engineering skills and know-how.
“It is a privilege to lead this consortium and enable the creation of a new big player in the field of advanced semiconductors in Europe. We have the best teams, and a huge portfolio of expertise on board from deep node submicron, co-Design, computer science, to HPC, and automotive end-products. We expect to ship from 2021 our 1st high class and high-performance solution,” said Philippe Notton, General Manager of EPI.
“In EPI, the first accelerator will begin from RISC-V technology to deliver two unique vector and artificial intelligence accelerators for HPC and AI, since future supercomputers will be mostly heterogeneous; the second accelerator, based on Kalray’s IP, will lead the path to deterministic automotive computation. Both are offering a European solution to future global converged (HPC and AI) computing needs,” explained Professor Mateo Valero, Director of Barcelona Supercomputing Center.
Matthias Traub, manager of electric/electronic architecture at BMW Group Research also commented “The combination of general-purpose processors, hardware accelerators, security modules, and further IP modules on a system-on-chip is one of the key success factors for realizing a high-performant and energy-efficient automotive computing platform for autonomous driving and connected mobility”.
Currently, the EPI gathers 26 partners from 10 European countries, the leading organisation being Bull SAS from France. This project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program with a special Framework Partnership Agreement. The initial stage is a three-year Specific Grant Agreement, which lasts until November 2021.
European Processor Initiative – www.european-processor-initiative.eu