EU call for the chip of the future

Dublin --- Speaking at the HiPEAC Autumn 2016 Computing Systems Week, Sandro D’Elia of the Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology of the European Commission has made clear the shift of focus of the next round of European funding for customised and low energy computing. 2016 has seen a stronger EU policy focus on the technologies for digitising industry, and so it has been possible to allocate funding to a topic on hardware research to start the development of next-generation high-performance processors.

‘We’re looking for innovative processor designs orientated to high performance computing, which is very important to European industry’, said Dr D’Elia in his speech to the participants of Computing Systems Week, a bi-annual networking and technological discussion forum which brings together the high performance and embedded systems research community in Europe, on this occasion in Dublin. The R&D activities carried out by HiPEAC members are playing a role in developing the technologies which drive the continent’s key industrial sectors including aviation, health and automotive

‘The European Commission wants Europe to avail of a new family of processors with a significantly better energy/performance ratio compared to current offerings, specifically tailored for high-performance, low-power server-side applications,’ Dr D’Elia summarised. This is a step towards the ‘exascale’ performance of tomorrow's fastest supercomputers, but is also meant to support all the applications where high performance must be coupled with low energy consumption, and criteria like efficiency and space are relevant; in general, these are the requirements of many cyber-physical systems and of many applications requiring computing power also at the edge of the network. It is hoped that the design will also include hardware-based security features.

The Horizon 2020 programme’s ‘ICT-05-2017: Customised and low energy computing’ call will not impose specific technical solutions but will ask for a working prototype (actual chip, software simulator, hybrid hardware-software demonstrator or anything else) to be demonstrated before the end of the project. This is the chance for companies, research centres and researchers to develop the computer chips of tomorrow.

More information on the EU strategy and the call can be found at

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