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Mont-Blanc 2020, European scalable, modular and power efficient HPC processor

Project description

Homegrown processors to usher in European exascale supercomputers

Strengthening Europe’s industrial capacity in processor design will contribute to the development of tomorrow’s processor for exascale supercomputers. The EU-funded Mont-Blanc 2020 project aims to deliver an energy-efficient processor able to handle high-performance computing (HPC) and server workloads. The processor will be more versatile, reliable and secure, while offering better overall performance. To make this a reality, the project will develop a co-design methodology to verify and optimise system-on-chip infrastructure, introduce advances to enhance the efficiency of real-life applications and gain a competitive advantage. Moreover, the project will build IPs for an HPC processor.


The Mont-Blanc 2020 (MB2020) project ambitions to initiate the development of a future low-power European processor for Exascale. MB2020 lays the foundation for a European consortium aiming at delivering a processor with great energy efficiency for HPC and server workloads. A first generation product is scheduled in the 2020 time frame.

Our target is to reach exascale-level power efficiency (50 Gflops/Watt at processor level) with a second generation planned for 2022. Therefore, we will, within MB2020:
1. define a low-power System-on-Chip (SoC) implementation targeting Exascale, with built-in security and reliability features;
2. introduce strong innovations to improve efficiency with real-life applications and to outperform competition (vector instruction implementation, memory latency and bandwidth, power management, 2.5D integration);
3. develop key modules (IPs) needed for this implementation;
4. provide a working prototype demonstrating MB2020 key components and system level simulations, with a co-design approach based on real-life applications;
5. explore the reuse of these building blocks to serve other markets than HPC.

Our key choices are:
a) To use the ARM ISA (Instruction Set Architecture) because its has strong technological relevance and it offers a dynamic ecosystem, which is needed to deliver the system software and applications mandatory for successful market acceptance.
b) To design, implement or leverage new technologies (Scalable Vector Extension, NoC, High Bandwidth Memory, Power Management, …) as well as innovative packaging technologies to improve the versatility, performance, power efficiency, reliability, and security of the processor.
c) To improve on the economic sustainability of processor development through a modular design that allows to retarget our SoC for different markets.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 3 816 743,75
78340 Les Clayes Sous Bois

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Yvelines
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 3 816 743,75

Participants (7)