Commission wants European Union to invest 1bn in supercomputing

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"We do not have any supercomputers in the world's top ten", he said. IDC recommends that Europe extends the end date for its HPC strategy from 2020 to 2022, to match the exascale time frames of the U.S., Japan and China, and that Europe plans to acquire two exascale systems, one of which stresses innovative European technologies (such as those being advanced within ETP4HPC).

The European Commission has announced a plan to invest Euro 1 billion of public funds in improving the EU's infrastructure for high-performance computing.

Ansip said the move will help in the development of technologies, including artificial intelligence and the building of applications for use in areas such as health, security, and engineering.

"Other Member States and associated countries are encouraged to sign the EuroHPC declaration", the release states.

Under the plans, a new EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will be established to lead on the acquisition and operation of four new supercomputing machines - two of which will be "world-class pre-exascale" machines, and two which will be "mid-range".

The research effort will include "the development of ... the first generation of European low-power microprocessor technology".

Such sentiments are now common with European Union bureaucrats, as reflected by comments from Digital Economy and Society Commissioner Mariya Gabriel. Various reasons have been cited for the creation of the supercomputer, including privacy, data protection, commercial trade secrets, and ownership of data, but it another instance of Europe trying to remove any dependence on other regions.

The EU will spend around €486 million (US$589m) on the initiative, which will be matched by member states, along with additional investment from industry members. Overall, around €1 billion of public funding would be invested by 2020, and private members of the initiative would also add in kind contributions. "They can help us to develop personalised medicine, save energy and fight against climate change more efficiently".

So keep a weathered eye on the horizon as the European machine lumbers towards a supercomputer.

The resulting systems will be shared by EuroHPC states, which now consist of France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Greece and Croatia.

The EuroHPC joint undertaking will be operational in 2019-2026. It also said it is beneficial for preventing and managing large-scale disasters, specifically noting the paths of hurricanes and quake simulations. For example, vehicle production cycles can be reduced thanks to supercomputers from 60 months to 24 months.

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