The acquisition of this new supercomputer is part of the National Research Strategy in Artificial Intelligence, presented by the government at the end of November 2018, which aims to make France the European leader in artificial intelligence research.
A new procedure has also been defined by GENCI to facilitate access to computing for the entire artificial intelligence research community: it will be implemented in 2019 and will enable, in particular, to use computing resources on the fly.
More generally, this acquisition is a major element of the national strategy for supercomputing infrastructure. It will double the computing resources available for numerical simulation, which, beyond artificial intelligence, is of major importance for most scientific fields and for fields as diverse as aeronautics, automobile, energy, climate simulation and weather forecasting, materials, biology and health, safety and defense, etc.
The national strategy of intensive computing infrastructure is defined in conjunction with the European strategy. In this context, France plans to be a candidate by 2022 to host one of the so-called exascale European computers (1 billion billion operations per second) co-financed by the European Commission within the framework of the Euro-HPC joint undertaking, which brings together the European Commission and 25 countries. It will be an investment of more than €320 million, half of which to artificial intelligence.