What has two thumbs, can run over 240 PFLOPS and just gave Europe a 50/50 share of the top four most powerful supercomputers in the world?
This supercomputer right here:
Dubbed the “Leonardo HPC system”, what you see above is the fourth most powerful supercomputer in the world and a potential quantum leap towards the creation of Europe’s first exascale computer.
Leonardo is built on architecture designed and developed by a French high-performance computer company Atos. It will officially go online and begin troubleshooting on the 24the from November.
While people in the US enjoy their Thanksgiving turkeys, Leo is being inaugurated in Italy, where it will serve the most taxing computing needs of the scientific research community.
Leonardo in numbers:
- 3,500 Intel Xeon processors
- 14,000 Nvidia A100 GPUs
- 4992 Intel Ice Lake compute nodes
- 249 PFLOPS
- 100 Petabytes of storage
Once it is formally online, Leonardo will officially become the second most powerful computer in Europe (after its Finnish HPC system brother “LUMI”) and the fourth most powerful in the world (after Japan’s Fugaki in second place and the American Frontier in first place).
Leonardo was built as part of The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU). With co-funding from the EU and several member states, the group’s ultimate goal is to build the world’s fastest supercomputer: an aptly named exascale supercomputer. Jupiterwhich is expected to go online in Germany in 2023 or 2024.
What’s probably most interesting about Leonardo is that it’s apparently designed with upgradeability in mind. The EuroHPC was constructed earlier this year future-oriented plans with quantum processing upgrades to its existing supercomputers.
In the future, Leonardo is about to undergo some fancy quantum upgrades. According to EuroHPC, an Italian non-profit computer consortium cinema will manage a new quantum computer on behalf of EuroHPC JU from 2023.
Leonardo’s specific architecture, called MSA (Modular Supercomputing Architecture), allows it to be physically connected to a quantum computer over a wired network through an integration called “co-localization”. That’s a form of hybrid quantum supercomputing that allows the two separate computing architectures to communicate at high enough speeds to share information payloads.
What this means for Europe is exactly what we’ve been saying here at Neural all along: Europe’s quantum computing industry is poised for massive growth. Within a few years, the EU should have the world’s first, third and fourth fastest supercomputers, at least one of which will interact with a quantum computer.
In the future, as hybrid quantum computing technology continues to evolve, EuroHPC’s modular supercomputing architecture could well ensure that Europe remains competitive with the US and China. But as far as supercomputers go, it remains to be seen whether the EU’s upcoming Jupiter system will surpass the upcoming US Aurorayet another exascale computer slated for near-term inauguration.