Advanced Computing in the Age of AI | Sunday, July 3, 2022

HPE Announces New French AI Supercomputer ‘Champollion’ 

May 26, 2022 — Hewlett Packard Enterprise has announced a new AI supercomputer, “Champollion,” in Grenoble, France, in collaboration with Nvidia. HPE says the new system will provide access to scientific and engineering communities to build and train AI models faster. The following is a blog post containing details of the announcement from Justin Hotard, executive VP and general manager, HPC & AI for HPE.


High performance computing (HPC) continues to advance, in scale and sophistication, at breakneck speed.

Organizations are increasingly turning to AI to harness insights and improve business and research outcomes, but often do not realize their full potential due to limitations in AI training scale. With its massive, specialized computing power, HPC is the backbone to many AI initiatives that require large computational force to train models at scale, in a short period of time, to unlock results faster.

The ability to test and train AI models directly results in improved business outcomes, but also ensures that AI is inclusive, responsible and robust. That means minimizing harmful bias, implementing mechanisms to ensure accountability, and ensuring safeguards are implemented that minimize risk of misuse.

Introducing an AI supercomputer to accelerate innovation

By bringing HPC together with purpose-built AI technologies, we are further fueling capabilities to speed up AI projects. Demonstrating this is the new AI supercomputer we are building, in collaboration with NVIDIA, called “Champollion.”

By designing a new, end-to-end supercomputer featuring HPE’s dedicated machine learning platform, the HPE Machine Learning Development Environment, and NVIDIA’s accelerated computing platform, to build and train larger models faster, we are helping the scientific and engineering community accelerate their AI journey to make a meaningful impact across industries.

Champollion will be hosted in the HPE Center of Excellence (CoE) in Grenoble, France, where we offer HPC and AI resources to our partners, customers and broader community to test and optimize their solutions for market. In particular, we have future plans to support virtual access to Champollion, for scientists and engineers globally, through a flexible and demand-based model to accelerate testing of their AI models and research.

As a tribute to its AI mission, helping to advance and accelerate development of AI techniques, such as natural language processing and classification, Champollion was named after Jean-François Champollion, a French linguist who lived in Grenoble and is famous for deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Unlocking AI access for the greater good

HPE has a long heritage in Grenoble that includes early investment in AI systems, with over 300 engineers and over 6,000 square meters of lab presence along with labs researchers in areas including energy, medicine, biotechnology, semiconductors and nanotechnology, among others. Champollion is also part of HPE’s continued investment to HPC & AI technology in France, building on President Emmanuel Macron’s national “AI for Humanity” initiative, announced in March 2018, to advance industries with AI and boost economic growth. As part of its global community access, Champollion will be used at 3IA research centers in Grenoble, Nice, Paris, and Toulouse, which were created in support of France’s AI mission.

We are proud to continue our strong partnership with France’s leading organizations to support the nation’s AI vision. In addition to Champollion, we are building on existing HPE AI investments in France, such as the upcoming Adastra supercomputer for GENCI-CINES, the Jean Zay supercomputer for GENCI and supercomputer for Maison de l’Intelligence Artificielle.

Accelerating the AI journey with fast and simple machine learning modeling and training

Champollion marks the latest milestone in AI innovation to improve intelligence in products and services that can help humans make better decisions, faster.

The new AI supercomputer will be built using 20 HPE Apollo 6500 Gen10 Plus systems, which deliver an end-to-end HPC and AI platform, featuring 160 NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs for accelerated compute to target AI model development and training, and NVIDIA Quantum InfiniBand for networking.

Additionally, by combining the HPE Machine Learning Development Environment, an optimized software stack that is ready for users to easily develop and train AI models faster, at scale, we are removing the need to purchase, deploy and tune technologies required to develop and train models.

By enabling access to a wider community, from researchers to engineers, spanning the public and private sectors alike, Champollion will speed up time-to-production to realize the full potential of AI in commercial and research objectives.

Champollion is currently available to select users and will be available for broader community access in the near future for users to begin developing and training their models. We have a robust portfolio of HPC and AI solutions, and to learn more, visit the HPE Booth (E509) at ISC 2022 in Hamburg, Germany from May 30 to June 2.


Source: Justin Hotard, HPE

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