(c) Leonardo Company

Today the Italian defense company Leonardo has started the construction of a new supercomputer. It will have a total computational power of more than 5 quadrillion operations per second.

Leonardo not only stands for the man from Vinci in Italy (who is possibly the world’s greatest genius) but also for an international top 10 company in the field of defense and aviation. Nowadays, the company focuses on the modern branches of innovation, such as artificial intelligence, big data analysis, and quantum technology. To this end, six laboratories have been set up in Italy, which are to be connected to each other via a supercomputer.

Innovation laboratories

Leonardo’s supercomputer is to become the nerve center of the headquarters in Genoa. This hub that was developed in cooperation with the French ICT company Atos has since been dubbed the Leonardo Labs. Here and in five other Italian cities, new research and development labs are currently being established. They will focus on innovation in Leonardo’s traditional sectors (defense, aeronautics, aerospace) and on the development of new technologies over the longer term.

The supercomputer connects these six laboratories, which are located not only in Genoa, but also in Milan, Turin, Rome, Naples, and Taranto (southern Italy). Leonardo wants to position itself as a high technology company this way. As well as be less dependent on the development and sales of helicopters. Such as its subsidiary AgustaWestland, among others.

Battery capacity of more than 100 computers

The new computer center is one of the first European centers to be equipped with the latest generation of Nvidia A100. The supercomputer boasts a battery of more than one hundred computers. This means it has a total computational power of more than 5PFlops, which is 5 quadrillion (5 million billion) floating-point operations per second.

The supercomputer will be connected through an efficient network. Its storage system is to be equipped with the latest hardware and software technologies. These have a storage capacity of approximately 20 million Gigabytes. Leonardo is aiming for a listing on the international top-ten technology companies by doing this.

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(c) Leonardo Company

In order to staff the six laboratories, Leonardo launched an international recruitment campaign last summer to attract around 70 young, talented engineers. They will focus on six specific research areas. These involve Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous and Intelligent Systems (A/IS), Big Data Analysis, advanced computing infrastructure, electrification in aerospace construction, materials, and quantum technology.

Leonardo, formerly known as Finmeccanica, is a multinational company with 180 branches around the world. The Italian government has a 30% controlling interest in the company. Based on its invoicing, the company is the seventh-largest defense manufacturer in the world. And yes, the name Leonardo is by no means a coincidence. The rebranding of the company in January 2017 intentionally paid homage to the great Renaissance inventor who hailed from Italy.

Read more IO articles on the marvels of supercomputers here.

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About the author

Author profile picture Ewout Kieckens is a Dutch journalist in Rome who writes about Italian lifestyle and culture. He has written books on diverse subjects such as the Vatican and Italian women. He is very interested in innovations, especially Italian contribution to progress.