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Intel, French R&D orgs set up computing center

Posted: 23 Nov 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel France computing center? R&D? supercomputer?

The French institutions Commissariat ? l'�nergie Atomique, Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif and Universit? de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines are teaming up with Intel Corp. to create an Exascale Computing Research Center. The center, part of Intel Labs Europe, will explore how to build high-performance computing systems with a thousand times the performance of today's fastest supercomputers. The term "exascale" refers to computers that are able to process 1 trillion instructions per second.

Intel will support the Exascale Computing Research Center with a multi-million euro investment over a three-year period. The French Atomic Energy Commission (Commissariat ? l'�nergie Atomique), the Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University (Universit? de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines) and the French National High-Performance Computing Agency (Grand Equipement National de Calcul Intensif) will combine to match Intel's contribution. This is Intel's first joint lab in Europe focused exclusively on high-performance computing. It will complement and extend Intel's existing high-performance computing research programs, investments and initiatives, including the Intel Academic Community Program and European Space Agency's "Mapping the Globe from Space" project.

"France has taken a leading role in driving high-performance computing research in Europe," said Steve Pawlowski, Intel senior fellow and general manager of Intel Architecture Group's central architecture and planning. "We chose to work with these three organizations because of their world-class software competency in exascale and high- performance computing."

The research agenda of the Exascale Computing Research Center will include integrating multi petaFLOPS systems, developing advanced performance optimization techniques, and collaborating with end users to optimize supercomputer performance in areas such as energy, seismology, computational fluid dynamics and health care.

The advent of exascale is expected to enable supercomputers to solve much more complex problems than today. For example in health care this capability should enable highly sophisticated genome calculations, enabling individualized patient treatment, or simulation of cell interactions to provide new cancer treatments. Another application can be found in seismology where exascale computing could enable more detailed prediction of ground movement at sites with high security requirements or where frequent movement is expected. In climate modeling, more accurate long-term forecasts and much more detailed local weather forecasts could be made.

The Exascale Computing Research Center will combine French research expertise and high-performance computing vision with Intel's leading products, technologies and experience in this area. The lab will employ about a dozen people initially and is expected to eventually grow to about three times that number.

Intel has a rich history of innovation and creativity in Europe with R&D programs encompassing areas such as chip design, software development, mobile communications and services, atomic-level chip research, development of key Intel products, and research on technologies that could help the aging population to lead healthier, better lives.

The chip giant's R&D efforts include Intel-owned labs focused on development of Intel products, joint research with European universities, open innovation and collaboration with industry and academia, participation in EU framework programs and cooperative standards development work with industry partners that deliver increased value and productivity to consumers.

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