Fusion for sustainable energy

Fusion for sustainable energy

Scientists and engineers around the world are tackling the global energy challenge by exploring nuclear fusion, an attempt to replicate on Earth the energy process that powers the sun and stars. This process involves fusing light nuclei at extreme temperatures and pressures to create a hot plasma. Considered the ultimate energy source, fusion could provide a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. However, designing a fusion power plant is a huge challenge.

In this context, UKAEA (UK Atomic Energy Authority) has partnered with Intel and the Cambridge Open Zettascale Lab to create a “digital twin” of the first fusion power plant, using cutting-edge technologies such as Intel oneAPI and DAOS high-performance storage. These tools are essential for performing massive and complex simulations required for the design and regulation of a fusion power plant. The use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and high-performance computing is crucial in this process.

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Code portability is also a critical aspect of this project. Future HPC (high-performance computers) will need to execute tasks on different architectures. To address this need, UKAEA and its partners rely on oneAPI, an open and multi-architecture programming model developed by Intel. This approach allows developers to use a single codebase on multiple architectures, accelerating development and symplifying maintenance.

Additionally, dealing with the enormous volumes of data generated by simulations poses a major challenge. This is where DAOS high-performance storage plays a crucial role. Designed to efficiently handle massive data flows, DAOS provides a solution tailored to the specific needs of HPC applications, with high bandwidth, low latency, and high I/O per second capabilities.

In collaboration with Intel, UKAEA and the Cambridge Open Zettascale Lab are accelerating the development of commercial fusion energy. Advances in hardware and software technologies, such as oneAPI and DAOS , play a crucial role in achieving this ambitious goal. These efforts promise to shape the HPC landscape of tomorrow and contribute to the creation of a carbon neutral world, a major advance in the quest for clean and sustainable energy.

« I firmly believe that the future of sustainable energy will rely upon supercomputing, so Intel, and its partners, and the University of Cambridge, are absolutely crucial to that journey. This is a journey that we have totake together. »

Dr. Rob Akers, Head of Advanced Computing UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA)

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