Strategic projects PEMB

Mont-Blanc, the energy efficiency of supercomputers

  • Knowledge
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • Developing
  • Operating
  • Stand-by

Mont-Blanc aims to design energy-efficient supercomputers with the help of mobile technology.

Project Leader

Mateo Valero, director at Barcelona Supercomputing Center, and Àlex Ramírez, Mont-Blanc's project manager at BSC-CNS

Energy efficiency is currently one of the priorities of the professionals working on the design of computers and the future Exascale systems, which currently suffer heavy energy consumption. In 2011 the Mont-Blanc project was launched to solve this problem by producing a new type of supercomputer system. These new Exascale systems will consume between fifteen and thirty times less energy than current systems.

The project is coordinated by Barcelona Supercomputing Center and is financed by the European Union, with a contribution of 14.5 million euros. In October 2013, the European Union provided an extra 8 million euros to continue this scientific project. It is also part of a pan-European consortium of technological companies including Bull, ARM, ST and Allinea, and leading supercomputing centres like Jülich, LRZ and HLRS (Germany), GENCI, CEA, Inria and CNRS (France) and CINECA (Italy).

2012 saw the installation and performance testing of the project’s target applications using an initial prototype based on ARM processors, and the design of the Mont-Blanc prototype’s architecture, based on the Samsung Exynos 5 processor. In 2013 the first blades of the prototype were constructed, ready for startup in 2014, when work will be done on scheduling the computer’s operating system and optimising the performance of the target applications.



  • Term of execution of project: 6 years(1 October 2011 to 30 September 2016)
  • Budget: €14.5 M, from the European Commission
  • Total cost of project: €28 M


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