The four supers will comprise a pair of "pre-exascale" machines capable of 10 calculations per second, plus at least two smaller machines that limp along at 10 calculations per second.
The European Commission, hereafter known as the Gaggle of Red-tapers, has unveiled plans for a €1 billion investment in supercomputer infrastructure.
"With the EuroHPC (European High-Performance Computing) initiative we want to give European researchers and companies world-leading supercomputer capacity by 2020 - to develop technologies such as artificial intelligence".
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Earlier, Seven member states signed the EuroHPC declaration in March 2017 and were later joined by more member states.
It will also allow to build a joint European infrastructure of High Performance Computers (HPC), a branch of computing that allows to deliver much higher performance than a typical desktop and deal with challenging scientific and engineering tasks.
The research effort will include "the development of ... the first generation of European low-power microprocessor technology".
"Supercomputers are the engines to power the digital economy", he said. Today, European scientists and industry increasingly process their data outside the EU because their needs are not matched by the computation time or computer performance available in the EU. That poses a risk that sensitive personal information, trade secrets and other data could leak or be stolen.
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The EU's contribution in EuroHPC will be around €486 million under the current multiannual fnancial framework, matched by a similar amount from member states and associated countries.
The goal is come up with €1 billion of public funding to be spent on supercomputing infrastructure over the next couple of years - until 2020. "They can help us to develop personalised medicine, save energy and fight against climate change more efficiently". To-date, 13 countries have done so - Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.
Buying and developing supercomputing technology is insane expensive, with exascale machines expected to cost up to a half billion dollars.
Although the €1 billion investment is only created to extend out to 2020, the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking is supposed to remain operational until the end of 2026, which presumably will require another round of investments. For example, vehicle production cycles can be reduced thanks to supercomputers from 60 months to 24 months.
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