Newsletter December 2015

Montblanc Newsletter December 2015

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Mont-Blanc European project gains new impetus for its climb to Exascale

Back in October 2011, the Mont-Blanc consortium launched the first phase of a project aimed to design a new type of computer architecture capable of setting future global HPC standards, built from cost effective solutions used in embedded and mobile devices.

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The Spanish team selected at the ISC-HPCAC Student Cluster Competition 2016

For the second time, the Spanish team from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalaunya·BarcelonaTech (UPC) will compete at the fifth ISC-HPCAC Student Cluster Competition that will be organized during the ISC16 conference from June 19 – 23, 2016 in Frankfurt (Germany).

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EMiT 2016 conference: Accelerating today's computing using tomorrow's technology

The Mont-Blanc project will co-organize the EMiT 2016 conference, that will take place on the 2nd-3rd June 2016 at the Campus Nord UPC, Aula Master, Barcelona, Spain.

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Mont-Blanc collaborates with...

EXDCI: European eXtreme Data and Computing Initiative (EXDCI)

Logo EXDCIEXDCI’s objective is to coordinate the development and implementation of a common strategy for the European HPC Ecosystem. The two most significant HPC bodies in Europe, PRACE and ETP4HPC, join their expertise in this 30-month project.

EXDCI will complement the Horizon 2020 calls and projects in the achievement of a globally competitive HPC Ecosystem in Europe. Following the vision of the European Commission in HPC, this ecosystem is based on three pillars: HPC Technology Provision, HPC Infrastructure and HPC Application Resources.

More information:



Welcome to the seventh edition of the Mont-Blanc Newsletter, shortly after the 2015 Supercomputing event in Austin.

As usual, the Mont-Blanc project was present on the exhibition floor of SC15 and actively contributing during a popular BoF “Taking on Exascale Challenges: Key Lessons and International Collaboration Opportunities Delivered by European Cutting-Edge HPC Initiatives” organized together with ETP4HPC and the other European Exascale projects, DEEP-ER, Epigram and Exa2ct.

The Mont-Blanc project also had a slot for a short presentation in the second “ARM HPC User’s group” satellite event at SC15, in which more than 50 experts from companies and research centers around the globe gathered together to present the enhancements of ARM-based platforms and software tools and to discuss the next steps to perform in order to build a endurable and stable ARM-based HPC ecosystem.

Then I would like to give some thought to the transition that is going on globally: from the “heroic effort” of enabling ARM-based platforms in HPC started in 2011-2012, to the current general willingness to transform this effort into a stable HPC ecosystem. And it is in the spirit of this transition that the Mont-Blanc 3 project recently started (see article in the newsletter): during 2016 the leadership of the project will shift from Barcelona Supercomputing Center to Bull/Atos so as to give to the original Mont-Blanc ideas a stronger industrial background that will lead to an ARM-based HPC product line in the near future.

In the meantime the technical activities of the projects go on, and at the beginning of 2016 two new mini-clusters based on ARMv8 system-on-chips will be deployed at Barcelona Supercomputing Center and made available to the project’s partners. These extremely interesting platforms will also be tested by the team of UPC students that will participate to the Student Cluster Competition at ISC16.

The last thought always goes to all the project’s followers, wishing them a great Christmas break and an exciting beginning of new year.

Filippo Mantovani, Mont-Blanc Coordinator
© BSC-CNS, 2015
Europa   This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research,
technological development and demonstration under grant agreement n° 288777 and 610402.

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