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Italy to launch one of fastest AI supercomputer: Leonardo

In October 2020, the development of one of the fastest Artificial Intelligence (AI) supercomputer in the world, named Leonardo, was announced in line with EU Artificial Intelligence strategy. This new supercomputer is expected to enter the world’s top supercomputer – the TOP500 – and compete with the Japanese Fuguka (2020) by Fujitsu and the US Summit (2018) and Sierra (2018) from IBM.

The new supercomputer Leonardo is expected to be able to execute more than 248 billion calculations per second (Petaflops). A supercomputer like this will help in many scientific research areas, such as weather modelling or drug discovery for instance. The budget for Leonardo is €120m and is expected to be operational at the end of 2021. The new supercomputer is being developed by CINECA, one of the largest Italian computing centres that provides public and industrial research on high-performance computers. To develop Leonardo, CINECA has chosen to partner with Atos BullSequana XH2000 supercomputing platform, a French multinational that is specialised in Information Technology service and consulting.

The Advanced Technology for Industry (ATI) project has recently published its Technology report on Artificial Intelligence. This report provides an overview of the market potential of AI, novel use cases, sustainability impacts and policy implications.