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Newsletter | Simulation ＆ modelling | Computing
In the global race to increase the power of supercomputers, it has become vital to keep improving processor architecture. The ExaNoDe project, coordinated by the CEA, aims to develop new nanoelectronics technologies and disruptive integration solutions to design the first European exascale computing processor.
High-performance computing (HPC) is a strategic challenge for the competitiveness of Europe's digital economy. To meet this challenge, the European Commission has taken the initiative of setting up EuroHPC JU, the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking. It aims to bring together all the European players in this field to develop exascale supercomputers using competitive European technologies. These supercomputers should be in use by 2022.
In a highly competitive sector, exascale power, i.e. the ability of computers to perform a billion billion operations per second, is the new challenge if Europe is to remain competitive against other players such as the US, China and Japan", explains Denis Dutoit, researcher at CEA-Leti and project coordinator.
ExaNoDe's first results cover all aspects of component integration, from the silicon technology to the system software. Concrete achievements include the design of an innovative high-speed, low-power interconnection for the heterogeneous integration of elementary chips via a silicon interposer, the 3D integration of elementary chips on an active silicon interposer with around 50,000 high-density connections, and the development of a complete software stack including system software and middleware.
In early September 2018, the ExaNoDe prototype entered its final integration phase, to demonstrate and validate all the technologies developed in the context of the project. This prototype should be validated in June. The methodology, know-how and construction blocks associated with advanced encapsulation (MCM and interposer) and the system software for heterogeneous integration provide an IP base for the next generation of processors to be used in future exascale systems. The delivery of the Exanode component consisting of a module with two FPGA chips and a 3D integrated circuit will be one of the next stages of the project.
The ExaNoDe project runs for four years (2017 – 2021) and brings together 13 European industrial and academic partners coordinated by the CEA. It has funding of more than 8 million euros from the European Union, and aims to develop nanoelectronics and integration solutions vital for the development of the exascale computing processor of tomorrow. ExaNoDe works closely with the ExaNeSt and EcoScale projects on the basis of a joint memorandum of understanding.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.