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International | Supercomputers
The CEA and RIKEN HPC experts met in October 2020, for their bi-annual Plenary Workshop. The event, organized online over 3 days, was the opportunity of a waypoint regarding joint R&D efforts on the different topics of the CEA-RIKEN collaboration. Since the previous workshop in March, an Activity Report summarising 3 years of fruitful collaboration – 2017-2019 - was issued, and the momentum and liveliness of joint efforts remained intact.
The Activity Report Executive Summary is available online. It underlines that the first initial work plan was fulfilled, augmented by new topics, and emphasises the main outcomes of the collaboration and related publications.
The October 2020 workshop was then the opportunity, now coming close to 4 years of collaboration, to report and exchange on the progress of all the technical and non-technical topics:
This year RIKEN successfully deployed the supercomputer Fugaku, Number 1 machine worldwide in the latest Top500 ranking. It was in particular useful for COVID-19-related studies and research. On its side, CEA contributed to similar efforts, operating Joliot-Curie supercomputer with dedicated fast track resources for the researchers. This is a strong extra evidence of the societal importance of HPC technologies and methodologies, applied to scientific applications and discoveries.
The CEA-RIKEN High Performance Computing and Computational Science agreement was signed in Tokyo on January 11, 2017, within the more general framework of a collaboration agreement between the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation (MESRI). Since then, CEA and RIKEN have been focussing jointly on developing and optimising scientific applications in different areas (such as health, or material sciences, risk and hazard management…) and improving their supercomputing technologies.
The collaboration will run until the end of 2021 and the two partners are already actively considering topics for a continuation from 2022 onwards, with the perspectives of both exascale consolidation and post-exascale era.It enables France and Japan to join forces in the worldwide race on HPC, computational sciences and data sciences and the scientific applications they can enable. The French and Japanese approaches show a number of similarities, not only in their technological choices but also in the priority given to the construction of user ecosystems around these new supercomputers. HPC and Artificial Intelligence are strategic areas for France and Japan in terms of national sovereignty, as well as enablers in scientific, societal and economic terms. This collaboration leverages knowledge for applications in numerical simulation, processing of large volumes of data, and artificial intelligence. Currently, about 40 researchers are involved in this collaboration.
CEA is a French government-funded technological research organisation in four main areas: low-carbon energies, defense and security, information technologies and health technologies. A prominent player in the European Research Area, it is involved in setting up collaborative projects with many partners around the world.