A line of allied world-class supercomputers created in Belarus and Russia
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For details, the “SOYUZ” correspondent went to the Joint Institute for Informatics Problems of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, which is the head executor of the supercomputer programs of the Union State.

It was here that the first allied supercomputer “SKIF” was created, which, after renovation, is still successfully operating today. In appearance, these are several cabinets with electronic cells that consume a considerable amount of energy and occupy an entire room.

– On the basis of the “SKIF” family, the National Scientific and Educational Grid Network functions, we are its operator, – explains the director general of the institute, Doctor of Science Sergey Kruglikov. – In the interests of customers, we solve specific industry and cross-industry tasks of the highest possible accuracy and complexity. Thus, our latest installation has 1742 cores for parallel computing with a total performance of more than 100 Tflops. For a number of industrial enterprises and healthcare organizations, universities, we have produced compact, so-called office solutions.

Seismic data are processed on such equipment, various geological processes are modeled. The Belaruskali association, for example, is forecasting the collapse of rocks. An intelligent telemedicine system for doctors is being created. The supercomputer helps to see the rudiments of a neoplasm invisible to the naked eye on an x-ray or CT scan. At the Belarusian State Technological University and the Belarusian-Russian University, machines help in the educational process.

– All calculations are performed on installations according to domestic programs, – Sergey Kruglikov clarifies. – We managed to make the machines compact and energy efficient thanks to the built-in cooling system based on heat pipes developed by colleagues from the Institute of Heat and Mass Transfer of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.

In their work, Belarusian scientists rely on the achievements of Russian colleagues who have domestic processors “Elbrus” and “Baikal”

When implementing allied programs, Belarusian scientists cooperate with the Institute of Program Systems named after A.K. Ailamazyan RAS, next in line are innovators from Skolkovo. The goal is to create a unified supercomputer platform for modeling and performing calculations in the interests of Belarus, Russia, and the CIS countries. The next stage of import substitution is the development and production of electronic components to replace imported ones.

– We rely on the achievements of Russian colleagues who have domestic processors such as “Elbrus” and “Baikal”, we test them, – continues Sergey Kruglikov. – The production base has not been lost, I will name at least the Minsk JSC “Integral”, the enterprises of the Russian Zelenograd. We develop microelectronic components for supercomputers, our textbooks on logical design are also in demand. Subcontractors at the Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus have a good laser base, and a chain of the latest microelectronics products is also being created at the Minsk Research Institute of Radiomaterials. We discussed these issues with colleagues from the A.K. Ailamazyan RAS and came to the conclusion that it is realistic to create a completely domestic supercomputer.

We will have to transfer already known technologies to our own element base. To this end, the next allied scientific and technical program is being developed. The State Secretary of the Union State Dmitry Mezentsev, who visited the Joint Institute for Informatics Problems during the Belarusian Space Congress, was acquainted with its main goals.

If the program starts next year, then by 2027 Belarus and Russia will receive a domestic supercomputer installation, Sergey Kruglikov is sure. In the meantime, the calculations necessary for the economy, science and other branches will be taken over by the existing supercomputer technology. Its resource, practice shows, will be at least five to eight years.

Dossier “SOYUZ”

The first program of the Union State “SKIF” was successfully implemented in 2000-2004. The SKIF-GRID program was carried out in 2007-2010. An experimental grid network “SKIF Polygon” was deployed, uniting the computing resources of a number of supercomputer centers in Russia and Belarus. Participants of the “SKIF-Triad” moved on to the creation of industry-specific personal supercomputers. Completed in 2018, the SKIF-Nedra program is focused on mining and processing data from seismic and other types of geological exploration, modeling the behavior of rocks. A domestic software and hardware complex was created on the basis of a personal supercomputer using heat pipes.

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