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High-performance computations: the CEA and IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) renew their collaboration

Paris, 10 May 2021 - The CEA and IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) have just signed an agreement extending their collaboration initiated in 2007 on the numerical code framework called Arcane in the field of high-performance computations.

Published on 11 May 2021

The CEA Military Applications Division launched the Arcane software platform in 2000 within the scope of the Simulation1 programme. It is used to optimise the performance of large parallel-processing computers and to manage complex data for 3D unstructured meshes. Thanks to its sophisticated object-oriented design, Arcane is both flexible and modular in its construction of simulation software, offering different levels of reading. It also gives players involved the development process (physicists, numerical analysts and computer scientists) the opportunity to focus on their core activities. This approach simplifies the development of innovative scientific tools in shorter time frames.


Since 2007, the CEA and IFPEN have been working together to further develop the Arcane platform, sharing technical breakthroughs along the way. IFPEN Ressources Energétiques Carnot Institute has recently been exploiting this platform to develop a new-generation simulator for its research in geosciences.

The work planned under this renewed partnership focuses on four topics:

  • Interactive development environments (IDE), with improvements to end-user support, from writing algorithms to debugging in a parallel configuration
  • Performance of computer codes, with adaptations to the platform to accept new architectures combining processors and accelerators
  • Software engineering, including steps to modularise the platform
  • Open-source distribution of the Arcane platform.


The open-source licensing of Arcane represents a key milestone in the platform's development, enabling its promotion within the scientific community, fast-tracking collaboration with other research organisations and universities (internships, PhDs and post-doctoral research), simplifying contributions to public-funded projects (ANR, future investments programme, etc.), and encouraging the submission of articles in journals and for conferences.


1 Since the end of nuclear testing in 1996, the Simulation programme has ensured the safety and reliability of nuclear weapons for France. It is based on the modelling of physical phenomena that describe how nuclear weapons work, resolving equations using supercomputers and experimental validation in large test facilities.

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