Europe’s first exascale supercomputers are one step closer

Europe’s first exascale supercomputers are one step closer

Nvidia and HPE announced a collaboration with SiPearl. The company is developing a microprocessor for Europe’s first exascale supercomputers.

10 percent of all chips are produced in Europe. The European Union wants a 20 percent share by 2030. That’s why the European Commission recently introduced the European Chips Act, a package of new rules and subsidies for chip manufacturing.

Some of the subsidies are intended for European chip designers. One example is SiPearl. The company was founded in 2020. Ever since, SiPearl has been working on Rhea, a microprocessor for European exascale supercomputers. HPE and Nvidia will contribute to the processor, which we’ll cover down the line.

Exascale supercomputers are the fastest computers around. Japan, China and the United States developed working models, but the first European versions are yet to come about. Ultimately, the European Union wants the supercomputers to consist of European components. In this way, the models function independently of other world powers. Rhea, SiPearl’s upcoming processor, plays an important role.

SiPearl, HPE and Nvidia

Since its inception, SiPearl started several collaborations to get underway. The first partner was Arm, which develops processor architectures. If the processor is a house, architecture is its foundation. Arm’s foundation is used by thousands of chip developers, including SiPearl. Following Arm, the company partnered with Intel. The partnership allows the microprocessor to work in conjunction with Intel Ponte Vecchio CPUs.

The most recent partners are HPE and Nvidia. HPE integrated the microprocessor with HPE Slingshot. HPE Slingshot ensures that workloads find their way to the processor. In addition, HPE made the HPE Cray Programming Environment available, which consists of compilers, libraries and tools for optimizing performance.

Nvidia contributes by supporting the microprocessor on a number of GPUs. The exact models are unknown, as is the microprocessor’s release date. SiPearl aims for a launch before the end of 2022. The more technologies the processor supports before that time, the better the result. With the addition of HPE and Nvidia, SiPearl is well on its way.