In the last years, SPRACE has been establishing partnerships with the private sector with the objective of investing their funds in the search for solutions of relevant problems related to High Energy Physics. As a result, our team acquires expertise in advanced scientific and technological areas, generating highly qualified human resources.
The IT Law (Lei da Informática) grants tax incentives to companies in the technology sector which make investment in R&D projects at the university. This mechanism aims to promote innovation at the national industry. Among our main partners there are some leading companies like Padtec, Huawei and Intel.
In 2015, SPRACE and the Center for Scientific Computing (CSC) of the São Paulo State University (Unesp) established a partnership with Huawei, the most important Chinese telecom company. The cooperation aims to create new open source services, tools and methods to leverage the integration of Software Defined Networking (SDN) with cloud computing technologies.
The project includes the development of a new fully open source SDN controller built from scratch. In 2016, at the SuperComputing Conference (SC16), the SPRACE and CSC team showcased the controller, named Kytos, for the first time. Kytos was used on a testbed infrastructure based on Huawei equipment built at SPRACE facilities in São Paulo. The controller is available at https://github.com/kytos and is being continuedly updated.
The project also includes the deployment of a simple and scalable SDN WAN testbed for development and experimentation, with computing and SDN-based network resources spread over three sites in different continents: Unesp (São Paulo, Brazil), Caltech (California, USA) and CERN (Geneva, Switzerland). This will allow us to explore the performance of data transfers over continental and transoceanic distances on the scale of hundreds of gigabits/sec using state-of-the-art servers and high-performance transfer tools.
In 2012, SPRACE and CSC established a partnership with Intel to develop an educational infrastructure with cloud computing to the Secretary of Education of the State of São Paulo, a project which became known as EduCloud.
Two years later, our team was awarded a grant from Intel to establish a “Intel Parallel Computing Center” (IPCC). The IPCC aimed to include the SPRACE computing team in the R&D efforts necessary to adapt high-energy physics software tools to the modern computing architectures that support multi-threading, vectorization, and other parallel processing techniques, to make data processing more cost-effective.
The main goal of the project was the development of Geant-V, the next generation of the Geant simulation engine, which will include massive parallelism. The software simulates the interaction between radiation and matter and has numerous applications. Geant is used, for instance, at CERN to describe the interaction of the particles produced in the collisions with the detectors. The software is also employed in radiology to determine the right dose of radiation employed in treatments and in the studies of electronic circuits resistant to radiation.
In 2015, SPRACE and CSC were awarded another grant from Intel and started the Unesp/Intel Modern Code project. Our team is responsible for training courses, workshops and technical consultancy in parallel programming for Xeon, Xeon Phi and Xeon Phi Knights Landing architectures in Brazil and in other countries, such as Colombia, France, Germany and Portugal.
Also with funds from Intel, we are starting a new project that will employ machine learning tools to improve the data analysis in Particle Physics.