Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Lenovo Announce Partnership to Promote Research and Development in Supercomputing Technology

On Tuesday, June 21, the research agreement was signed between the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-National Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS) and Lenovo to promote research in several Spanish and EU-priority sectors for high-performance computers.

Through this partnership, Lenovo will invest $ 7 million over three years – the largest amount the company has invested in research in Spain – to promote precision medicine through the use of supercomputing; design and development of open source European chips (type RISC-V); and development of more energy-efficient supercomputers and data centers.

The event took place at BSC-CNS Headquarters with Director Mateo Valero, Vice President Josep Maria Martorell and Lenovo Executive Vice President and President of the Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group, Kirk Skaugen.

Mateo Valero, Director of BSC-CNS: “I am very proud of this important collaboration with Lenovo. We will continue our long-standing collaboration to address the major challenges in these key research areas on the agenda of Spain and the European Commission. This research collaboration will bring significant returns to the region, not only humanly and scientifically. but also technologically and economically. “

Noam Rosen, EMEA Director, HPC & AI at Lenovo, said: “We are pleased to announce today the agreement to develop new European supercomputing technologies for the exascale era, which follows our six-year partnership with BSC. common The aim is to choose an open architecture to support scientists and researchers with smarter, more efficient and sustainable supercomputing platforms.This agreement and our investment contribution are just the latest examples of Lenovo’s continued commitment in Europe with our new production facilities in Hungary and AI Innovation Center Germany Lenovo is committed to helping BSC researchers solve humanity’s greatest challenges and is proud to support BSC’s leadership in driving European innovation within the HPC. ”

Supercomputing: The Key to Advancement in Precision Medicine

Recently, the Telomere to Telomere (T2T) consortium published in the journal Science the first complete, gapless human genome that gathers nearly 3,000 million bases or letters of our DNA, which is essential to understanding the spectrum of human genomic variation and evolution. of diseases. Several international research centers are currently working with the Human Pangenome consortium to analyze the complete genomes of different populations. This exponential increase in genome data production provides several petabytes of information, requiring the use of high-performance computing (HPC) resources for analysis, such as those from BSC-CNS’s MareNostrum supercomputer. The effective analysis of large-scale genomic data will be crucial in advancing precision medicine and developing new treatments for diseases such as cancer. One of the collaborative projects between Lenovo and BSC-CNS is therefore aimed at improving and accelerating precision medicine using supercomputing.

In this context, the BSC-CNS team led by researcher Miquel Moretó will study genomic analysis algorithms to design new accelerators that will be integrated into the HPC platforms of the future and which will serve to increase the efficiency of these highly advanced improved assays. The algorithms created and optimized by the BSC-CNS team will focus on the GOAST (Genomics Optimization and Scalability Tool), which was developed by Lenovo to optimize and improve genomic analysis. In addition, these analysis tools will be extended to other disciplines such as epigenetics, metagenomics, microbiology, virology and other areas of life sciences and health care.

More sustainable and energy efficient supercomputers

The growing need to provide researchers with more powerful supercomputers and data centers requires a marked increase in energy consumption that is no longer sustainable. The consumption of some of the most powerful supercomputers in the world is estimated at around 25MW, which is equivalent to the consumption in a medium-sized city. BSC-CNS and Lenovo’s joint research will focus on building more energy efficient, sustainable and cheaper supercomputers and data centers. The group coordinated by researcher Julita Corbalán will lead this challenge at BSC-CNS. In 2016, this team, together with Lenovo, developed new system software (EAR, Energy Aware Runtime) for the optimization and energy efficiency of HPC tools and launched the spin-off EAS (Energy Aware Solutions) with UPC to move forward in this direction to continue with to reserve.

This new research project will strive for more powerful, flexible and robust energy saving systems in infrastructure solutions, such as energy optimization and management software. Efforts will be made to integrate new technologies developed by INTEL into the algorithms recently developed by Corbalán’s team. The project will also seek to expand and monitor energy consumption control throughout the infrastructure architecture.

European autonomy in chip design

Processors are the core of all computer-compatible electronic devices, such as cell phones, hospital equipment, and automobiles. The European Union’s Chip Act and the Spanish PERTE (Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation) Chip are adapted to strengthen Europe’s competitiveness and resilience in semiconductor technologies and applications and to improve both digital and sustainable transformation assistance.

In this context, the EU has set the ambitious goal of doubling its current global market share to 20% by 2030.

Despite the importance of this technology, Europe is not a leading designer or manufacturer of semiconductor technology. This, combined with the recent global shortage of semiconductors, has led to the closure of production lines in various sectors, such as the automotive industry and the healthcare sector. Terrified of this situation, this year the Commission announced the semiconductor “Chips Act” to position Europe as a power in the production of these devices.

In 2019, BSC announced the creation of the European Laboratory for Open Computing Architecture (LOCA), whose mission is to design and develop chip technology in Europe based on the open -RISC-V instruction set architecture. Led by researcher John D. Davis, this laboratory emerged as a collaborative project with companies, foundations, and academic institutions to create open source hardware that ensures transparency, competitiveness, and technological autonomy. The integration of Lenovo into this project will help facilitate the achievement of this priority objective for Europe. In the same context as LOCA, BSC has also recently announced the establishment of a joint laboratory with INTEL for the development of chips with European technology.

The collaboration between BSC-CNS and Lenovo is a continuation of a joint work dating back to 2016, aimed at studying, among other things, the use of artificial intelligence in precision medicine or the sustainability of supercomputers.

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