Farewell to Helios

Helios supercomputer (photo: Bull).

It is time to say goodbye to the Helios supercomputer located in the International Fusion Energy Research Centre (IFERC) in Rokkasho, Japan, hosted by the Japanese Atomic Energy Authority (JAEA).

From 2011 to 2016 Helios was one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers with a peak performance of more than 1.5 Petaflop/s. Its main goal was to give scientists the opportunity to perform complex calculations in plasma physics.

Helios was used by the fusion communities of Europe and Japan to research in plasma physics, reactor technologies and materials. The usage of Helios was very intense, exceeding at times 98% capacity on average/week.  Some of the highlight achievements include:

  • Comparisons between fusion experiments such as JET, JT-60U, ASDEX-Upgrade, MAST, Tore Supra, W7X, LHD and Heliotron J.
  • Predictive simulations of future devices were run such as JT-60SA and ITER.
  • 639 peer-reviewed papers as a result of the computational research that has been carried out.

Earlier this year, the mission of Helios was completed as all its shut-down operations were finished. After Helios farewell, scientific work in the fusion field continues with the Marconi-Fusion supercomputer that Europe has made available for the next two years. Furthermore, Japan will purchase a new machine that will be ready by 2020.

Source: F4E

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