SiPearl wins first deal for ARM exascale supercomputer processor

SiPearl wins first deal for ARM exascale supercomputer processor

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By Nick Flaherty

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European high performance processor designer SiPearl has won its first major customer in JUPITER, the European exascale supercomputer to be built in Germany.

The €273m JUPITER EuroHPC supercomputing infrastructure will be operated by Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany and will use the first generation Rhea processor developed by SiPearl. The chiplet-based design is scheduled to sample next year, although the installation of JUPITER is also scheduled for early in 2024.

That design, which SiPearl has renamed Rhea1, is based on an array of 64 ARM Neoverse V1 cores with a mesh interconnect and high speed HBM2e and DDR5 memory interfaces, where the company has filed a number of key patents. There are also dedicated processor cores for the power management, workload management and security.

It is also agnostic to the GPU accelerators and has deals with Nvidia, Intel, AMD and GraphCore, but JUPITER will use GPUs from Nvidia. A second generation chip codenamed Cronos is also under development with several complete die and a separate I/O chip and is expected to be renamed Rhea2.

This first contract is a major milestone for SiPearl as part of the European Union’s moves to ensure European sovereignty through the return of high-performance, low-power microprocessor technologies in Europe. The deal will contribute to the development of high-precision models of complex systems and artificial intelligence applications to solve strategic, scientific, industrial, environmental challenges with a low-carbon footprint.

JUPITER will be installed at the Forschungszentrum Jülich campus in North Rhine-Westphalia and built by a consortium composed of Eviden (the Atos Group business leading in advanced computing) and ParTec (the German modular supercomputing company). 

“The core design philosophies behind Arm Neoverse are flexibility, performance, power efficiency and a mature software ecosystem, all of which are critical in empowering our partners to rapidly and successfully build custom solutions that are workload-optimized from the edge to exascale,” said Mohamed Awad, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Infrastructure Line of Business at ARM.

 “We are happy to congratulate SiPearl on this tremendous milestone and look forward to continuing our work together in enabling a robust HPC computing ecosystem across Europe.”

“SiPearl is pleased to take part in this very first European exascale supercomputer. This is a great achievement for us and we look forward to working hand-in-hand with Jülich, Eviden and ParTec, our partners from the EuroHPC ecosystem. The dream of a European machine crossing the exaflop threshold with a European microprocessor inside is coming true”, said Philippe Notton, CEO and Founder of SiPearl.

JUPITER is based on a dynamic modular architecture developed by the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) together with the EU-funded DEEP projects with a highly-scalable Booster Module based on Nvidia GPUs and a tightly coupled general-purpose Cluster Module based on the Rhea processor. This architecture will also allow the system to integrate with other technologies such as quantum computing.

“This news marks a pivotal step forward in the realisation of our endeavour to bring exascale computing to Europe,” said Anders Dam Jensen, Executive Director of EuroHPC joint undertaking (JU). “With the combined expertise of our partners and the EuroHPC JU’s continued commitment to bolstering European computing power, JUPITER will revolutionise the European HPC landscape and reinforce European excellence in HPC. Not only will JUPITER break the exaflop barrier, but the system will also use the European HPC processor Rhea, developed under the European Processor Initiative by SiPearl.”

“I am particularly proud that our specialists at Jülich, together with many European partners, succeeded in developing the new modular supercomputing concept, which is now being the basis of JUPITER as a genuine European technology. Only thanks to the generous support of the European Commission and later EuroHPC JU and BMBF in the DEEP and SEA projects since 2012, such a development was possible in the first place,” said Prof. Thomas Lippert, Director of the JSC, Forschungszentrum Jülich.

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