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EPI Project: Building European Processor Technologies

Very few countries and regions in the world are currently able to deliver the high-end processor technologies that drive our digital era. As things stand today, Europe is not one of these. This is a significant risk for Europe’s future as such technologies are export-controlled, i.e. access to these technologies today strongly depends on the policies of governments outside of Europe.

To change this scenario, the European Commission is setting up a strategy to support the development of European processor technologies through the European Processor Initiative (EPI). EPI is based on a long-term Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) between the European Commission and 24 partner institutions under the leadership of Bull/ATOS. The first phase of the EPI project started on 1 December 2018 and will run for three years with a budget of € 80 million.

The EPI project aims at creating a new family of high-performance processor technologies where export control remains in Europe. In the first three years, a processor with general purpose cores and accelerator units will be developed and implemented. A first-generation chip is planned to be taped out and validated in 2020. The EPI processors will be designed targeting high-performance computing (HPC) but keeping much larger market sectors in mind, including automotive, cryptography, artificial intelligence, and trusted IT infrastructures, amongst others.

Two institutes from Forschungszentrum Jülich are participating in EPI, bringing complementary contributions to the table: while JSC is leading the co-design approach, which will ensure that the requirements of the final users are met, ZEA-2 (Electronic Systems) is participating in the formal verification and validation of the constructed general-purpose processing units.

Contact: Dr. Estela Suarez, e.suarez@fz-juelich.de

from JSC News No. 263, 5 February 2019


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