Hewlett Packard Enterprise is strengthening its Chippewa Falls, Wisc., presence with a $22 million investment that will establish a Global Center of Excellence for High Performance Compute Manufacturing and create approximately 30 new jobs. A number of HPE facilities will benefit from the investment, according to an HPE representative. The news comes as plans for the United State’s — and possibly the world’s — first exascale systems hit hyperdrive.
The US Department of Energy is expecting to field three exascale machines within as many years — all based on the HPE Cray EX (formerly Shasta) architecture. The frontrunner, Frontier, is slated for delivery at Oak Ridge National Laboratory later this year. Aurora at Argonne National Laboratory and El Capitan at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will follow.
A press release put out by the Wisconsin Governor’s office notes that currently “four large computer systems” for the U.S. government are being manufactured at the site. Customer confidentiality prevented Cray from confirming the specific systems, but it is reasonable to think that Frontier, slated to be the nation’s first exascale system, is among them.
“[The investment] reaffirms the great relationship our state has had with HPE and Cray over the many years they’ve been in Chippewa Falls,” said Governor Evers. “It sets us on a course toward even greater growth, bringing more family supporting jobs, expanding opportunities, and bolstering economic activity not only in the Chippewa Valley area, but across our state.”
HPE could potentially receive an additional $8 million in tax credits over the next five years. A plan currently under review by the Wisconsin legislature cites HPE’s robust contribution to the local economy as a provider of 500 high-paying jobs.
Wisconsin and the Chippewa Valley benefit from HPE’s presence in other ways. Government officials note “a significant impact on Wisconsin suppliers” with HPE purchasing $12 million in materials from area suppliers in the last year, in addition to contracting with local service providers, construction firms and utilities.
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