Switzerland contributing to one of the most competitive supercomputers in the world to be placed in Finland


6 Jun 2019 Lugano - The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre CSCS of ETH Zurich will represent Switzerland in a joint endeavour to acquire, build and deploy a world-class computing and data infrastructure at the IT Center for Science's data centre in Kajaani, Finland. Eight countries and the EU will participate in this unique joint endeavour that will deploy by the end of 2020 one of the fastest and most advanced supercomputers in the world, providing highly competitive HPC resources for Europe's scientific, industrial and public users with EuroHPC funding.

The consortium has been selected by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking, a high-performance computing (HPC) initiative launched by the European Commission and supported by 25 European Member States and three Associated Countries. The EuroHPC Governing Board decided on the 5th of June 2019 to place three pre-exascale supercomputers in Finland, Italy and Spain.

CSCS will contribute to the project with its extensive, multi-year experience in making hybrid GPU accelerated HPC systems available to science. Back in 2013 CSCS was one of the first centres worldwide to introduce with "Piz Daint", a petascale hybrid supercomputer using GPU as accelerators.

The State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) contributes to the involvement of the ETH Zürich with up to 10 million euro. The aspects related to how Swiss scientists will get access to the additional computational resources will be announced in the next months. In parallel, CSCS will continue in the implementation of the national High-Performance Computing and Networking (HPCN) initiative whose next financing period (2021-2024) has been recently approved.

Peter Brönnimann, Scientific Advisor at SERI, commented as follows the decision of EuroHPC: "We at SERI are delighted about the active participation of ETH Zurich & CSCS in the Finnish winning consortium for the procurement of a pre-exascale system. The commitment of Swiss Excellence to the EuroHPC effort in general is substantial, and we are convinced that this will have a significant positive impact on the planned HPC ecosystem in Europe."

Prof. Thomas Schulthess, Director of CSCS, added: "The approval of our proposal demonstrates how forward-looking our decisions related to the introduction of GPU have been. We are looking forward to providing scientists from Switzerland and Europe a state of the art supercomputing environment to solve important challenges in science."

The LUMI - Large Unified Modern Infrastructure - consortium countries are Finland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland. Estonia and the Netherlands may join the consortium in the near future.

Source: Swiss National Supercomputing Centre - CSCS