Agreement for second European exascale supercomputer Alice Recoque

The Alice Recoque supercomputer will be the second European system reaching more than one billion billion calculations per second. This next-generation supercomputer represents a significant technological milestone for Europe.

Pradeep Chakraborty
New Update
Alice Recoque

Agreement signed for Alice Recoque -- second European exascale supercomputer.

EuroHPC Joint Undertaking signed a hosting agreement with GENCI for its next exascale supercomputer, Alice Recoque, which will be operated by CEA. It will pave the way for new scientific discoveries and post-exascale HPC and AI services.


The Alice Recoque supercomputer will be the second European system reaching more than one billion billion calculations per second. This next-generation supercomputer represents a significant technological milestone for Europe. It will address European major societal and scientific challenges via the convergence at scale of numerical simulation, massive data analysis and artificial intelligence (AI).

This new system will in particular improve the development of high-precision models to mitigate the effects of climate change, foster innovation in new materials and energy sources, support the creation of digital twins of the human body for personalised medicine and underpin the training of next generation of European generative AI, multimodal and foundation models. The Alice Recoque machine will also address the challenges raised by the vast amounts of data generated by scientific instruments such as telescopes, satellites, as well as IoT devices and AI applications. Thanks to its unprecedented computing power, this system will be a cornerstone to processing, inferring and leveraging data at incredibly high speeds and with maximum energy efficiency.

This newest EuroHPC supercomputer is named after Alice Recoque, a French computer scientist and AI pioneer. Born in 1929 in Algeria, Alice Recoque graduated from the École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielle (ESPCI) in 1954.Having specialised in computing architectures, including massively parallel computers, she later worked on the design of the first mini computers. In the 1980s, she became the Strategic Leader in AI for the Bull group and was one of the first French scientists within the AI research domain. 


The Alice Recoque supercomputer will be hosted and operated by the Jules Verne consortium, led by France through GENCI and CEA, with the participation of the Netherlands through SURF, a cooperative association of Dutch educational and research institutions. GENCI, as hosting entity, will manage this supercomputer, which will be located and operated at CEA’s supercomputing center  TGCC (Très Grand Centre de calcul du CEA) in Bruyères-le-Châtel (Paris area) as the hosting site.

This system will be available to serve a wide range of European researchers from academia and industry as well as public services. Access to the computing resources of the new machine will be jointly managed by the EuroHPC JU and the Jules Verne consortium in proportion to their investments. 

With a total cost of ownership (TCO) of more than EUR 544 million, the project will be co-funded by the EuroHPC JU, with budget stemming from the Digital Europe Programme (DEP) and by contributions from France and the Netherlands. The JU will co-fund up to 50% of the total cost of the supercomputer.


Alice Recoque details

Alice Recoque will be based on a modular and energy-efficient architecture providing several compute, pre/post processing and service partitions federated by a high-speed internal interconnect, sharing access to a tiered data-centric storage architecture, and managed by a unified system administration and resource management stack. Taking benefit of on-going French and European initiatives, it will also incorporate experimental hybrid quantum computing partitions and will be open to integrate additional new EU-based sovereign technologies, paving the path to post exascale architectures and services.

The hosting agreement, which has now been signed, is a contractual document that defines the roles, rights and obligations of each party. The procurement process for this new supercomputer will be managed by EuroHPC JU and will begin in the immediate future.

Philippe Lavocat, CEO of GENCI, said he is “very satisfied and wants to share his pride for launching, on behalf of GENCI Associates, with EuroHPC this new computing phase, inaugurating the Exascale era at national level. This machine will particularly provide unprecedented computing resources for research, science, and innovation, in France, in the Netherlands and in Europe. This supercomputer that will be operational within two years is also designed to address sovereignty issues.


Finally, recognizing Alice Recoque action by naming so the future Exascale supercomputer also underlines the remarkable technological achievement promised for the future. Indeed, this French engineer and scientist is considered as a pioneer within Artificial Intelligence domain, and she has also strongly contributed to the development of parallel architecture dedicated for computing. Her name will now shine again among science and progress symbols”.

Jean-Philippe Verger, Director of CEA Bruyères-le-Châtel site, stated: “CEA and its teams are very proud to be the Hosting Site of the Alice Recoque exascale supercomputer. This is a strong recognition not only of our expertise in building major research infrastructures, but also of the skills of CEA's HPC teams all along the value chain, who will operate the machine and help the scientific communities use it. CEA’s TGCC computing center is one of the very few facilities operating quantum computers, aside HPC supercomputers for the research and industry communities, in a secure environment.

"The challenges ahead are immense (climate modelling, energy transition, materials, health and artificial intelligence, etc.) and it makes this project particularly exciting. The work has already started to adapt the TGCC facility, and we are impatient to host this new flagship of European research. By relying on European technological and software building blocks for this project, Europe is demonstrating its unity and reaffirming its leadership in HPC and AI, a strategy in line with CEA’s vision.”

Alice Recoque