New agreement to finance BSC for the coming nine years

On 16 July, the Catalan Minister Àngels Chacon visited the MareNostrum supercomputer to present the guidelines for the new 2020-2029 agreement that guarantees the financing of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC). The event was attended by the Secretary of Universities and Research of the Generalitat, Mr Francesc Xavier Grau, and the Rector of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, Mr Francesc Torres.

The Minister of Business and Knowledge of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Ms Àngels Chacón, explained to the centre’s directors that the Catalan government will contribute 59 million euros to BSC under the agreement with the Spanish Government and the UPC for the period 2020-2029. This agreement has yet to be ratified.

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Welcome to MARCONI100, a new tool for fusion research

MARCONI 100 (Photo: CINECA)

MARCONI 100 (M100) is the new accelerated cluster acquired by CINECA, Italy, within PPI4HPC European initiative. MI100 is based on the IBM Power9 architecture with NVIDIA Volta GPUs and has a peak performance of 32 Pflops.

M100 became available in May 2020 to the European public and industrial researchers. In particular, the access to M100 is granted to users with approved projects for this platform (EUROfusion, PRACE, European HPC programs,…). EUROfusion community has 80 dedicated nodes of M100, which means a peak performance of 2.5 Pflops, to run fusion codes and boost the research in this field.

M100 opens the way to the pre-exascale Leonardo Supercomputer expected to be installed in 2021.

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How to experiment with a fusion reactor that does not yet exist?

On the 6 May, our group member Xavier Sáez gave an online lecture entitled “Simulation Codes in Fusion Technology” as part of the Fusion Technology Course of the Nuclear Engineering Master organized by the Department of Physics on Barcelona School of Industrial Engineering (ETSEIB) at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain.

This course offers the students an overview on selected key topics in Fusion Technology, delivered by specialist lecturers from F4E, UPC and our Fusion group at Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC).

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EUROfusion High Level Support Team adapting to work from home

The High Level Support Team (HLST) is a unit from EUROfusion that provides support to the European fusion community to ensure optimal exploitation of the High Performance Computing (HPC) resources such as the MARCONI-fusion supercomputer at CINECA (Italy).

The HLST consists of a full-time core team at the IPP Garching (Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik) and a number of part-time members in other institutions. The latter include Xavier Sáez from our fusion group at Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC). To guarantee an optimal flow of communication within the unit, there are two face-to-face meetings per year in Garching, Germany, where members share their work and experiences. However, because of the Covid-19 crisis, this year this has changed.

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BSC research on COVID-19

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center’s (BSC) team is working from home to maintain the center’s research activity and the support for users of our supercomputing infrastructures. As an example, our fusion group continues working in the search of a clean energy using online meetings to coordinate and share the work.

The aim of this post is to discuss the numerous ways in which our center is devoted to the fight against coronavirus including new research projects that have been started related to it. Also, it will highlight external investigations aimed at fighting the pandemic which have been granted priority access to the MareNostrum 4 supercomputer and other BSC infrastructures.

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EPS Conference on Plasma Physics has been postponed to 2021

More than two years ago, Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) was chosen as the Local Organizer for the 47th European Physical Society (EPS) Conference on Plasma Physics on June 22-26, 2020, in Sitges, Spain. Since then, our Fusion research group has been coordinating the different tasks to prepare for this big event with the support of numerous BSC staff members and the professional conference organizer Bco Congresos.

Due to the on-going coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, our BSC team together with the EPS Plasma Physics Division Board and the Programme Committee came recently to the conclusion that it is best to postpone the conference by one year. Please find our joint official announcement below which is also available on the conference web site.

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