Tuesday, January 28th 2020

Europe Readies its First Prototype of Custom HPC Processor

European Processor Initiative (EPI) is a Europe's project to kickstart a homegrown development of custom processors tailored towards different usage models that the European Union might need. The first task of EPI is to create a custom processor for high-performance computing applications like machine learning, and the chip prototypes are already on their way. The EPI chairman of the board Jean-Marc Denis recently spoke to the Next Platform and confirmed some information regarding the processor design goals and the timeframe of launch.

Supposed to be manufactured on TSMC's 6 nm EUV (TSMC N6 EUV) technology, the EPI processor will tape-out at the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021, and it is going to be heterogeneous. That means that on its 2.5D die, many different IPs will be present. The processor will use a custom ARM CPU, based on a "Zeus" iteration of Neoverese server core, meant for general-purpose computation tasks like running the OS. When it comes to the special-purpose chips, EPI will incorporate a chip named Titan - a RISC-V based processor that uses vector and tensor processing units to compute AI tasks. The Titan will use every new standard for AI processing, including FP32, FP64, INT8, and bfloat16. The system will use HBM memory allocated to the Titan processor, have DDR5 links for the CPU, and feature PCIe 5.0 for the inner connection.
Source: NextPlatform
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20 Comments on Europe Readies its First Prototype of Custom HPC Processor

#1
Vayra86
:rockout:

Also, about damn time we start doing things ourselves. Especially things like this.
Posted on Reply
#2
bonehead123
Hopefully, somebody/everybody involved with this has some REALLY deep pockets, if they hope to have a realistic chance of taking on those other 2 cpu makers...:p...:eek:...:laugh:

Should be interesting to see how this plays out....
Posted on Reply
#3
candle_86
bonehead123
Hopefully, somebody/everybody involved with this has some REALLY deep pockets, if they hope to have a realistic chance of taking on those other 2 cpu makers...:p...:eek:...:laugh:

Should be interesting to see how this plays out....
It's not even in the same compitition, it's arm, it's future is to power an Android device.
Posted on Reply
#4
sepheronx
bonehead123
Hopefully, somebody/everybody involved with this has some REALLY deep pockets, if they hope to have a realistic chance of taking on those other 2 cpu makers...:p...:eek:...:laugh:

Should be interesting to see how this plays out....
Not all processors being developed are developed to compete directly with some x86 chip. This, Russias VLIW Elbrus, Chinese Loongson, etc are for either HPC market, security market, workstations used for state industries, etc. And it works for their intended purpose.
Posted on Reply
#5
notb
candle_86
It's not even in the same compitition, it's arm, it's future is to power an Android device.
It's being designed for servers. It's even in the text fragment in top post...
sepheronx
This, Russias VLIW Elbrus, Chinese Loongson, etc are for either HPC market, security market, workstations used for state industries, etc. And it works for their intended purpose.
This initiative was started by gov agencies and chips are being designed with gov systems in mind.
However, it is planned to sell them as well (e.g. car AI is mentioned in the "strategy").

Today most countries design and produce some parts of strategic security systems, so making an EU-wide standard would be very welcome (making this cheaper and easier to implement).
I seriously doubt in this becoming a proper product at any point.
Vayra86
Also, about damn time we start doing things ourselves. Especially things like this.
This is an ARM-based chip and ARM is an European company (and within EU for 3 more days :) ).
Posted on Reply
#6
xtreemchaos
this is really good news and about time too, even if its just for servers it will no dout lead to mainstream use.
Posted on Reply
#7
notb
xtreemchaos
this is really good news and about time too, even if its just for servers it will no dout lead to mainstream use.
Why would this be any more interesting for enterprises than a dozen or so alternatives? :)
Posted on Reply
#8
xtreemchaos
because of choice and the will to use something else and of free will for those of us who still practice it :)
Posted on Reply
#9
Joss
First we let our (the West's) technology and manufacturing bleed to Asia.
Then we indebt ourselves to the bone to pay for imports of the (many) things we stopped making.
Then our governments spend billions of taxpayer money to secure the core tech they let fly in the first place.

Yes, it makes sense :(
Posted on Reply
#10
Vayra86
Joss
First we let our (the West's) technology and manufacturing bleed to Asia.
Then we indebt ourselves to the bone to pay for imports of the (many) things we stopped making.
Then our governments spend billions of taxpayer money to secure the core tech they let fly in the first place.

Yes, it makes sense :(
Blame our 4 year gov cycles for that...

I struggle to detect any leader with vision these days. Its all reactive management and short term gain.
Posted on Reply
#11
phanbuey
Vayra86
Blame our 4 year gov cycles for that...

I struggle to detect any leader with vision these days. Its all reactive management and short term gain.
Because the system doesn't reward that. I know this is all cool and necessary in the long run, but it is also huge gamble with resources that can be used elsewhere at the same time.
Posted on Reply
#12
Sashleycat
I think, actually, a lot of governments are wanting to develop their own silicon for government-use, especially military. Something just doesn't sit right with them about using silicon developed in the USA with who-knows-what backdoors implemented (whether Intel/AMD even want to do it is another story entirely).
Posted on Reply
#13
prtskg
notb
This is an ARM-based chip and ARM is an European company (and within EU for 3 more days :) ).
Wasn't ARM bought by Softbank, which is a Japanese company?
Posted on Reply
#14
lexluthermiester
prtskg
Wasn't ARM bought by Softbank, which is a Japanese company?
Yes.
Posted on Reply
#15
notb
prtskg
Wasn't ARM bought by Softbank, which is a Japanese company?
I'm really not in the mood for "does capital have nationality" discussion. :)

Yes, SoftBank owns ARM.
But if you think ARM isn't European because it's owned by SoftBank, then SoftBank certainly isn't (entirely) Japanese. :)
Posted on Reply
#16
R-T-B
candle_86
It's not even in the same compitition, it's arm, it's future is to power an Android device.
H...P...C... Guess what this stands for?

notb
However, it is planned to sell them as well
Not planned, did. I think they stopped, but I happen to own a Loongson based mini-PC somewhere. It runs at like 800Mhz and is a funny little thing...

notb
Why would this be any more interesting for enterprises than a dozen or so alternatives? :)
Because it's a domestic product and they feel they can trust it.

i.e., it makes them feel good.
Posted on Reply
#17
DeathtoGnomes
R-T-B
H...P...C... Guess what this stands for?
uhhh, HapPyCat? :p

uhhh, Hi, Puddy Cat?:shadedshu:

uhhh, Homemade Pumpkin Cake?:banghead:

uhhh, I give up. :respect:

------

I am sure their long term goal would be to take a swim into the market along side Cyrix and AMD. That wont be anytime soon.
Posted on Reply
#19
hellrazor
R-T-B
H...P...C... Guess what this stands for?
High Performance Computing
Posted on Reply
#20
lexluthermiester
hellrazor
High Performance Computing
There is another phrase that is in common use which everyone readily understands: High End Desktop.
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