The EuroHPC European Joint Undertaking today announced that it has selected the project for the future European Exascale supercomputer, led in France by the Jules Verne consortium, which brings together France, represented by the Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif (GENCI) as hosting entity, in collaboration with the Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (CEA) as hosting site, and the Netherlands, represented by SURF, the Dutch national supercomputing centre.
After being procured by EuroHPC JU, this supercomputer will be hosted end of 2025 in the TGCC building (Très Grand Centre de calcul du CEA, i.e. very large computing centre of CEA), benefiting from the expertise of CEA’s HPC division in operating large scale HPC systems like Joliot-Curie (GENCI, for open research) and Topaze (CCRT, for industrial research).
The main objective of the Jules Verne application to EuroHPC is to deploy a world-class Exascale supercomputer, based on European hardware and software technologies, addressing European major societal and scientific challenges via the convergence at scale of numerical simulations, massive data analysis and artificial intelligence.
Indeed, answering very important societal and global issues in the framework of Dutch and French national strategies objectives like the ones of France2030, the supercomputer will act as a sovereign accelerator in modelling more precisely the effects of climate change, in the development of new materials, energies and decarbonized mobility, in the rise of digital twins of the human body toward personalized medicine or in the training of next generation of generative AI or multimodal models. It will also address the challenges related to the explosion of data generated by scientific instruments (such as telescopes, satellites, sequencers, microscopes, networks of sensors…), by IoT/Internet devices or by large multi numerical simulations. This data deluge has made the use of such supercomputers crucial for science, industry and decision makers, in order to ingest, infer, simulate and value such data in competitive times and in the most energy efficient way.
Following previous deployments of EuroHPC systems like JUPITER (in Germany), the first Exascale system in Europe in 2024, Jules Verne will provide to European, French and Dutch researchers an unprecedented compute capacity of more than 1 Exaflops - one billion of billion (“1” followed by 18 zeros) of calculations per second, equivalent to more than 5 million modern laptops or PCs, with more than 300+ PB of storage at start.
The reference design of the supercomputer is based on a modular and energy-efficient architecture providing several compute, pre/post processing and service partitions federated by a high-speed internal interconnect, sharing access to a tiered data-centric storage architecture, and managed by a unified system administration and resource management stack. Taking benefit of on-going French and European initiatives, it will also incorporate experimental hybrid quantum computing partitions and will be open to host additional new EU-based sovereign technologies, paving the path to post Exascale architectures.
Picture : general architecture of the proposed Exascale Supercomputer
Beyond the machine itself the Jules Verne consortium, in relation with others EuroHPC’ consortiums, will provide user support to European researchers in porting and optimising their applications on the supercomputer as well as training. In this perspective, Jules Verne seeks to collaborate with all European Centers of Excellence (CoE) and end users communities toward the inception of the system and has already established relationships with national R&D Exascale projects like France 2030 NumPEx program. The NumPEx program aims at designing and developing software components that will equip future Exascale machines and preparing the major scientific and industrial application domains to fully exploit the capabilities of these machines. The NumPEx program has a budget of 40,8 M€ over 5 years.
The overall costs for the acquisition and operation of the system during 5 years are 542 million euros. Of this total, 271 million euros is being provided by EuroHPC JU, 8 million euros by the Dutch Ministry of Culture, Education and Science and 263 million euros mainly by the French Government. ONERA and IFPEN have expressed their interest for joining the French part of the consortium, paving the way for additional French research groups and industrial companies.
Beyond France and The Netherlands, the Jules Verne consortium is open to add other countries, as partners sharing the same vision at the service of science, innovation and sovereign technologies
Sylvie RETAILLEAU, French Minister of Higher Education and Research
“EuroHPC's approval of the Jules Verne consortium's application is excellent news for French and European research. It is another important step forward in securing the funding of an Exascale-class supercomputer, worth a total of €542 million.
These computing resources will be needed to meet the scientific and technological challenges that await us, such as climate change, energy transition and health. The supercomputer will therefore play a key role in guaranteeing our technological sovereignty and industrial competitiveness, and I hope that new public and private partners will join the consortium in the coming weeks”.
Minister Dijkgraaf, Dutch Minister of Education, Culture, and Science
It is great news that the European scientific community, with France and the Netherlands at the forefront, joins forces to realize the supercomputer proposed by Jules Verne consortium. With this, Europe reaffirms its position in the global research arena. The author Jules Verne sparked our curiosity with stories about a technological future where one can travel to the moon or the deep sea. Through this supercomputer, we do it again. Scientists are granted a glimpse into the future with this immense computing power, enabling them to contribute to solving fundamental societal issues in areas such as healthcare or combating climate change."
Philippe LAVOCAT, CEO of GENCI
“One billion billion of operations per second to accelerate the advent of the future. GENCI is delighted and proud with EuroHPC's announcement that the Franco-Dutch Jules Verne consortium has been selected to host and operate an Exascale-class supercomputer. This is international recognition of France's scientific and technical expertise in bridging together applications in numerical simulation, massive data analysis, artificial intelligence and soon hybrid quantum computing and using European hardware and software technologies.
Above all, these are the first steps into the exascale era, which will enable our national research communities to realize the dream of simulating complex phenomena to solve historic scientific enigmas as well as the possibility of being creative in terms of devices to meet industrial and societal challenges for instance, in energy, innovative materials and healthcare, such as the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.”
François JACQ, CEA Chairman
“This supercomputer will be an exceptional instrument for European research at the service of European society and sovereignty. It will enable major advances in many fields that are at the heart of CEA's research activities, such as high-resolution climate modelling, fusion for energy, innovative materials, human digital twins and personalized medicine. It will provide our researchers and industrialists with world-class computing resources to exploit the deluges of data linked to the deployment of new digital systems, autonomously, and thus remain in the global race. The CEA has a long experience of designing and implementing pre-exascale supercomputers in state-of-the-art computing centers.
We will put all our expertise in the design and operation of computing centers at the service of this project, with the objective of performance and control of energy consumption.”
Jet de Ranitz, CEO of SURF
“We are proud to be working together in the Jules Verne consortium to significantly advance research on societal challenges. This supercomputer will further help Dutch researchers carry out complex simulations in fields ranging from climate science and engineering to medicine and astronomy. We are very proud that our SURF experts in large-scale computing can contribute to this and thus help researchers in their work”
To read the whole press release : https://www.genci.fr/sites/default/files/PR_Jules%20Verne_20062023.pdf