For more than a decade, exascale computing represented a distant horizon that would deliver unprecedented supercomputing power to solve previously intractable scientific challenges. Exascale systems represent a performance jump from quadrillions of calculations per second to quintillion calculations per second (1,000 billion and trillion, respectively, in European numbering standards).
In 2022, the international scientific community arrived at its destination, inaugurating the first exascale machine in the United States. But even before the Frontier supercomputer was installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the European Union (EU) in 2018 formed an organization tasked with delivering next-generation high-performance computing (HPC) technologies across the Union, including crossing the exascale threshold. The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) was founded, giving the continent a central, coordinated body to leverage their members’ collective bargaining power and ensure that European researchers would have access to a variety of complementary HPC architectures.
This year, the EuroHPC JU governing board selected 5 new sites to host next-generation HPC systems, and the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) at Forschungszentrum Jülich was selected as the hosting entity for the Europe’s first exascale machine. The system is named JUPITER, an acronym for Joint Undertaking Pioneer for Innovative and Transformative Exascale Research. While the agreement was made in principle this summer, EuroHPC JU and JSC leadership met in recentlyy to formalize the details and officially sign the hosting agreement.
While exact details of the system, including vendor partners, have not been finalized, JUPITER is expected to begin construction in 2023 and the total cost of ownership is expected to be €500 million, with half coming from the EuroHPC JU and the other half split evenly between the German Federal Ministry for Research and Education (BMBF) and the Ministry for Culture and Science for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
For more information, read the full press release from Forschungszentrum Jülich.