Atos, has officially launched the start of the construction of its new global High Performance Computing (HPC) Test Lab in Angers. The new 2,000 m2 test centre will be built next to Atos’ existing manufacturing site on Patton Avenue.
It will provide Atos’ HPC customers the unique opportunity to thoroughly test their supercomputing equipment under real conditions, to ensure its meets stringent benchmarking criteria, prior to receiving delivery on-premises. This test lab supports both Atos’ and its clients’ work to develop ‘exascale’ supercomputers, amongst the most powerful in the world (capable of processing a billion billion operations per second), and research on quantum computers.
Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony
The opening ceremony saw Pierre Barnabé, Chief Operating Officer, Big Data & Security at Atos and Vincent Sarracanie, Director of the Atos Angers site welcome Christophe Béchu, the mayor of Angers and President of Angers Loire metropole, and Paul Jeanneteau, Vice President of the Pays de Loire region, lay the first foundation stone.
'When dealing with this level of computing power from the most powerful supercomputers in the world, pre-testing is essential. Our dedicated environment, created solely for this purpose, will enable not only our clients to fully test their equipment but also for our R&D teams, at Atos, to develop our products and services, as well as create relationships with academic institutions and high-quality research centres' said Pierre Barnabé, Chief Operating Officer, Big Data & Security at Atos.
'One year on from the World Electronic Forum, by choosing to install its centre in Angers, Atos is highlighting our region’s assets. With this investment, Atos is at the cutting-edge of technology and is creating an international reputation for Angers in the technology industry and in HPC in particular' added Christophe Béchu, mayor of Angers and President of Loire metropole.
On to road to exascale in Angers
The Atos site in Angers employs 250 people in the development and construction of supercomputers. Atos’ exascale-ready supercomputer, the BullSequana X, which is capable of processing an exaflops (a billion billion operations per second) by 2020, is assembled here. Atos is Europe’s leading supercomputing manufacturer and has 51 supercomputers in the Top500 ranking, which details the 500 most powerful commercially available computer systems worldwide, 15 of which are in France. The BullSequana X has already been sold to the CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), with a computing power of 12 petaflops, and to GENCI (Grand Équipement National de Calcul Intensif) in France, and to other research institutions in Germany, UK and the Netherlands.
Atos will manage the project together with local contractor Edeis, and local engineering consultancy GEFI. This project is co-funded by European regional development funds with a planned investment of €600,000 from the Pays de la Loire region as part of government policy for economic development and €1,200,000 from FEDER European funds. It will create around 10 new jobs at the Atos Angers site. This second instalment of the HPC Test Lab is expected to be officially open in spring 2019.