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EU Exascale Project to Create ARM-Based Prototype by End of the Year

V3.co.uk (02/26/16) Graeme Burton

The European Union-funded Exanest, Exanode, and Ecoscale supercomputing projects are collaborating on the framework for an exascale architecture prototype. The plan focuses on the ARM64+FPGA architecture as the foundation. The three partners have been assigned different roles: Exanest will focus on the system level, which will include interconnect, storage, and cooling; Exanode will work on the compute nodes and the memory in the nodes; and Ecoscale will concentrate on the reconfigurable logic in the system. The effort also will include cooling specialists and software developers to provide profiling and debugging tools. The goal is to create a fundamental “straw man” prototype by the end of the year. The Forth Institute of Computer Science says the core design will encompass “energy-efficient ARM cores, quiet and power-efficient liquid cooling, non-volatile memories integrated into the processor fabric, and the development of innovative, fast interconnects that avoid congestion.” The researchers believe “there will be new interesting compute nodes coming out from our partner projects, and we will use such nodes,” says Exanest project coordinator Manolis Katevenis. The system will rely on 64-bit microprocessor technology because of its relatively low power consumption and because it will enable more cores to be packaged together without generating excessive heat.

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