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Human Brain Project: Pre-Commercial Procurement under Way

A pre-commercial procurement (PCP) of research and development services on "interactive supercomputers" for the Human Brain Project (HBP) has started. PCP, a relatively new model of public procurement promoted by the European Commission, is organized as a competitive process in several phases. In the first phase, contracts were awarded to three consortia comprising leading providers of HPC solutions, namely CRAY, Dell with EXTOLL and ParTec, as well as IBM with NVIDIA.

Interactivity will be a key feature of a future high-performance computing infrastructure for brain research which will be built within the HBP's HPC Platform Subproject. This infrastructure will enable large-scale simulations of cellular brain models approaching the size of a full human brain.

The goal of the HBP PCP is to procure R&D of HPC system components that will allow the interactive visualization and steering of large-scale brain simulations on a HPC architecture capable of providing a peak performance up to 50 Pflop/s with a memory capability of up to 20 PB. Suppliers will be required to deliver pilot systems, demonstrating the readiness of the developed technologies and their integration into a scalable HPC architecture for a representative set of HBP use cases. The pilot systems will be deployed and operated as "pre-production" test systems at JSC.
(Contact: Prof. Dirk Pleiter,

from JSC News, October 2014