EPI Enters the Second Phase: Development of Microprocessors for Supercomputers

European Processor Initiative (EPI)

The European Processor Initiative (EPI) brings together 27 partners from a total of ten European countries with the aim of developing a high-performance general purpose processor (GPP) for universal computing tasks and highly efficient accelerator processors. Together, they are designing the first high-performance computing systems for chips and accelerator units. Both elements will be implemented and validated in a prototype, which will form the basis for an exascale supercomputer based on European technology. The framework agreement was signed at the end of 2017 – the second phase of the project started in early 2022. 


More Energy Efficiency for HPC Systems

The EPI processors particularly support applications in the field of scientific computing (weather forecasts, physical simulations, etc.) and data analysis. Deep learning methods are also expected to find application in other important markets such as autonomous driving. For a vehicle to drive autonomously. The central goal is to build up expertise across the entire value chain. This forms a central pillar for the EU's independence in high-end chip designs and HPC. Technologically, energy efficiency in particular is a key target. Special accelerator types are being developed here to support simulation and deep learning applications in particular.


Stencil and Tensor Accelerator (STX)

Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits IIS, the Fraunhofer ITWM is developing the so-called Stencil and Tensor Accelerator (STX) on the basis of an architecture from the ETH Zurich. Here, the Fraunhofer institutes focus on the efficient execution of highly parallelizable applications with constant access patterns. Such patterns occur in a wide range of applications – from fluid dynamics, to climate and weather prediction, to imaging techniques.

The Main Development Goals Are:

  • energy efficiency of real-world applications
  • easy programmability
  • low costs


Project Partners

The initiative involves 27 partners from ten European countries. Experts come from the field of High Performance Computing (HPC), others from large supercomputing centers, the computer and silicon industry as well as scientific and industrial application areas. It is led by the French IT service provider Atos.