LEONARDO: a new EuroHPC world-class pre-exascale supercomputer in Italy

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The European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) and CINECA, the hosting entity of LEONARDO, a new EuroHPC precursor to exascale supercomputers, have announced the company Atos as the awarded vendor for the procurement of LEONARDO.

Logo of the LEONARDO supercomputer

LEONARDO will be a top-of-the-range supercomputer, capable of executing more than 248 Petaflops or more than 248 million billion calculations per second. With such massive computing power, this new supercomputer will rank amongst the world’s top supercomputers and will pave the way toward exascale capabilities, the next supercomputing frontier, i.e. supercomputers that can perform more than one trillion operations per second.

This new leadership-class HPC system will be located in Italy, in the premises of the new data centre of CINECA, currently built in the Bologna Technopole. CINECA is a non-profit consortium, made up of 69 Italian universities, 21 national institutions and the Italian Ministries of Universities and Research, and of Education. 

On the occasion of this award, Roberto Viola, Director General of the Directorate‑General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect) of the European Commission stated: 

"I am very pleased about the announcement of the LEONARDO pre-exascale supercomputer that will be developed and installed in CINECA by a European vendor in the next few months. This supercomputer will be among the top five in the world. It will combine the best of Artificial Intelligence and HPC technologies. It will contribute to further developing Italy’s and Europe’s capabilities in a number of key application areas, such as: response to climate change, increase of resilience to natural disasters and to pandemics, and promoting the research and innovation capabilities of our industry."

Anders Dam Jensen, the Executive Director of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking added :

“Today is a concrete and promising milestone for European supercomputing! LEONARDO is the first EuroHPC pre-exascale procurement contract to be announced. It will support Europe to lead the way in the technological race towards exascale, while benefiting European researchers, industry and public sector to innovate, bringing forth unimagined benefits to citizens in fields such as medicine, energy, and agriculture – to name just a few.”

The President of Cineca Eugenio di Sciascio said:

"Italy, that participates as a founding country in the EuroHPC JU, has a long tradition of success in the field of supercomputing, thanks to the foresight of the Ministry of Universities and Research and the persistent operational capacity and expertise of CINECA. The main goal of the Italian roadmap to HPC is the development of an innovative infrastructures and competencies ecosystem able to support Italy and the European Union in winning the digital transformation challenges".

"CINECA's objective is to constitute a European reference point for the technological supervision and development of European technology for supercomputing, which is a strategic asset for the independence and competitiveness of the entire European system, as well as the national one" concluded the General Director of Cineca David Vannozzi.

LEONARDO is co-funded with a total budget of EUR 120 million by the EuroHPC JU and the Italian Ministry of Universities and Research and is expected to be operational by the end of next year.

As half of the total investment comes from the EuroHPC JU, half of the LEONARDO computing resources will be allocated to EuroHPC users, following open periodic and peer-reviewed calls to which all eligible European users may participate. Up to 20% of the EuroHPC resources will be available to industry and SMEs.

Background

The company Atos has been selected following a call for tender launched in November 2019.

The computing power of LEONARDO will soon be complemented by two additional EuroHPC pre-exascale supercomputers located at the following supercomputing centres:

and five EuroHPC petascale supercomputers to be built in the following supercomputing centres:

 

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