Exascale-Ready Plasma Simulations for Fusion Energy, Accelerators & Space Science

NAISS 2024/5-177


NAISS Medium Compute

Principal Investigator:

Stefano Markidis


Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

Start Date:


End Date:


Primary Classification:

10303: Fusion, Plasma and Space Physics



Most of the visible universe is made up of plasma, the fourth state of matter, consisting of ionized gas. Therefore, understanding our Universe and unlocking the nature of countless astrophysical, space, and atmospheric phenomena involves understanding plasma behavior. Black hole accretion flows, relativistic jets, solar flares, coronal mass ejections, magnetic storms, and northern lights are examples of plasma phenomena in nature. At the same time, fusion energy research and an increasing number of modern industries critically depend on plasma science and technology. This includes a wide range of applications, from magnetic and inertial confinement fusion to electric propulsion to biomedicine to food processing to chip manufacturing and many more. Thus, plasma simulations contribute significantly to several societal challenges, particularly decarbonization through fusion energy, health and well-being through plasma medicine, as well as safety and security by understanding the effects of space weather on satellites and Earth-based communication and power distribution. In this project, we aim to enable four lighthouse plasma simulation codes (BIT, GENE, PIConGPU, Vlasiator) from different plasma physics domains (plasma-material interfaces, fusion, accelerator physics, space physics) and important scientific drivers to exploit exascale supercomputers. The four codes have a very large user base community in the Scandinavian countries and Europe. To achieve these ambitious scientific goals, we will maximize the performance achievable by our four codes and enable them on the current pre-exascale and upcoming exascale supercomputers by algorithmic improvements (automatic load-balancing, compression, and resilience), performance optimization for highly heterogeneous systems (accelerators and heterogeneous memories) and high-throughput online data analysis. Our codes support AMD CPU and GPU. As part of this project, we will also investigate the impact of new computing paradigms, such as Quantum Computing, on HPC plasma simulation models in the post-exascale era. At this end, we will deploy large-scale quantum simulators to study quantum algorithms for plasma simulations. At KTH, we are a large group of plasma physicists, and computer scientists united to enable advancement in plasma science through large-scale optimized runs.