If Atos can pull of something similar without increasing power consumption, it could be in with a chance of hitting its target. Rather than Nvidia, though, Atos is looking to Intel for its GPUs, or coprocessors in Intel parlance.
The basic unit in the Bull sequana architecture is a "cell", consisting of two full-height compute cabinets housing a total of 288 nodes, with a narrower switch cabinet between them. In early models, each node is typically either an Intel Xeon processor or Xeon Phi coprocessor.
While it will take many such cells to build an exascale machine, there are plenty of businesses with lesser computing needs that might be content with one.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.