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French Minister Christine Lagarde visited the CEA, accompanied by Didier Lamouche


The recent visit is an illustration of the successful collaboration between an IT maker and a research agency, which has had a significant impact on the field of supercomputers.  

At the CEA, Minister Christine Lagarde was welcomed by Bernard Bigot, Chairman of the CEA, Daniel Verwaerde, Director of Military Applications, and Pierre Bouchet, Director of the DAM Center Île-de-France, in the presence of Didier Lamouche, Bull Chairman and CEO.

Thanks to the collaboration between Bull and the CEA (the French Atomic Energy Authority), France is positioning itself as one of the world leaders in this area. As the Minister highlighted in her speech, this cooperation is helping France to protect its sovereignity in strategic sectors such as computer simulation. The CEA-DAM hosts the Tera 10 supercomputer, which Bull brought into production in 2005 (then the most powerful in Europe and number five worldwide), as well as the prototype of the Tera 100 supercomputer, which is due to go into service in 2010 and will deliver 1,000 Teraflops or 1 Petaflops of power. Once all the elements of Tera 100 are fully deployed, it will take up the same floorspace (600 m2 or 6,460 square feet) as Tera 10, while delivering 20 times as much power.

Tera 100 is one of the five most powerful supercomputers in the world. By way of comparison, it would take all six billion people on the planet two days to carry out the number of operations it can do in just one second,” explained Didier Lamouche,

Extract from the Minister's press release

Strategic priorities for investment and new government loan

On 18 September Christine Lagarde, Minister for the Economy, Industry and Employment – accompanied by Didier Lamouche, Chairman and CEO of Bull, and Bernard Bigot, Chairman of the CEA – visited the CEA's site at Bruyères-le-Chatel, which houses Bull's high-performance computer Tera-10, installed in 2005 as a central element of the French nuclear weapons simulation program, as well as the prototype of the first Petaflops-scale supercomputer designed in Europe as part of the Tera 100 program launched in July 2008 by Bull and the CEA.

The success that Bull has achieved and the positive scientific and economic impact of the Tera-10 and Tera-100 programs demonstrates how long-term State support for industrial projects can facilitate the emergence of a world-scale player in a leading-edge sector. So it is a natural example to feed the current debate about strategic priorities for investment and government loan.

With players such as Bull and the CEA – and, more widely, the entire ecosystem that has developed around the System@tic comptetitiveness cluster – France now has key competences in High-Performance Computing, which represents a critical technology not only for scientific and military applications, but also for innovation in numerous industry sectors (aeronautical, automotive, civil engineering...).