The Executive extends the MareNostrum supercomputer with an extra 90 million

The MareNostrum 5 supercomputer, located at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-National Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS), will have 50% more capacity.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 11:21
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The Executive extends the MareNostrum supercomputer with an extra 90 million

The MareNostrum 5 supercomputer, located at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center-National Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS), will have 50% more capacity. The goal is to go from the current 312 Pflops (the measure by which the capacity of this type of machine is established) to 450 Pflops in 2025. For this reason, the Spanish Government approved yesterday in the Council of Ministers an extraordinary budget of 90 million to the project.

The initiative is part of the new artificial intelligence strategy that was also approved yesterday by the Executive and which aims to "consolidate and expand the use of AI in the economy as a whole and in public administration ". Its deployment will take place in 2024 and 2025 and will have a budget of 1.5 billion. In the Recovery Plan, an additional 600 million has already been mobilized in this same matter.

The AI ​​strategy is composed of three axes and eight action levers. The first axis is focused on strengthening the key elements for the development of AI, such as boosting investment in supercomputing. This is where the supercomputer located in Catalonia comes into play, which is already the largest in Europe and one of the few with open source. In other words, it allows you to show your data sources transparently. But in order to deploy this expansion, the Executive needs the approval of the European Commission, which will have to modify the original schedule regarding the deployment of this type of infrastructure, according to which the growth of MareNostrum 5 was planned for 2029. Given the evolution of the events of recent years and the increase in demand that is expected in the short term, we hope that the European Union will accept the modification of dates that we propose", explained the Ministry for Digital Transformation and the Function public

The second axis calls for facilitating the application of AI in the public and private sector. In this way, the General Administration of the State will develop the GobTech Lab project, which will channel the use cases of this technology through an innovation laboratory to launch pilot projects and innovative solutions for state public sector entities. These solutions could then be transferred to the private sector.

The third lever encompasses the promotion of a "transparent, ethical and humanistic AI". That is why the Spanish Government advanced the creation of the Spanish Agency for the Supervision of Artificial Intelligence (Aesia), a kind of supervisor like the one that already exists in the fiscal field with Airef.

Another objective of the AI ​​strategy is that the MareNostrum 5 supercomputer can become a pole of attraction for both public and private international projects that will be able to find in Spain the incentive of a country with the capacity to archive data, and also with excellent telecommunication infrastructures and cheap energy thanks to the powerful development of clean energies.

The Central Government thus wants to bet on Spain becoming a strategic center for data archiving, which takes advantage of the country's excellent high-speed fiber infrastructures and an offer of electricity at affordable prices provided by the development of renewable energies. Along these lines, Minister Escrivá advanced yesterday that his ministry is working with the Ecological Transition Ministry on the drafting of a royal decree that regulates the development of data infrastructures based on sustainability criteria. The objective, he added, is that "the data centers that will be created in the coming years will be built under sustainable criteria, because the consumption of water and energy will be intensive".

The new regulatory framework aims to improve the planning of data centers, simplify administrative procedures and territorially order the implementation of future infrastructures. "These measures will position Spain as a benchmark in the implementation of AI practices that respect the environment and promote the efficient use of resources", pointed out the Ministry for Digital Transformation.