Mini prototype of a giant simulator
17 March 2015
Ericpol has successfully completed the construction and verification of a prototype the Real Complex Systems Analyser (RCSA), and can therefore begin the construction of the actual device. Presentation of µRCSA (micro RCSA) took place on 17th March in the Department of Microelectronics and IT Technologies of the Łódź University of Technology. RCSA will constitute the most important component of the new Molecular Simulations laboratory, currently under construction in the Łódź Technopark.
Constructed by Ericpol, µRCSA is a prototype of the target device – RCSA. The prototype was constructed in order to verify the correctness of the electronic assemblies which will be used to build the device’s “heart”. Each of the assemblies consists of 9 FPGA circuits, as well as smaller electronic components soldered onto a 14-layer laminate. µRCSA’s frame can house 24 such boards, interconnected by a total of 700 metres of cables. The prototype is the size of a large wardrobe. Its computing power is not enormous, but the device can perform all the operations that will be performed by the target device.
– No solutions can be successful if you do not build a prototype first. The construction and testing process itself gives us a unique chance to fine-tune our concept. Here at Ericpol, we pay particular attention to accuracy and attention to detail. That’s how we define what it means to do our job in a professional manner. Thanks to this approach, we can be sure that the RCSA simulator will be built on schedule and according to plan – says Marek Gajowniczek, Ericpol’s Cross-Functional Programmes Director.
Thanks to µRCSA, designers were able to verify the correctness of the boards’ design, the speed with which they communicate, and even to improve some of the device’s functions. The successful verification of the prototype also signifies the green light for Ericpol to commence work on the site where the simulator will be housed. The building is to be made available in the second half of March. Ericpol will be responsible for building and assembling RCSA, supplying the software to control the device as well as the electrical and cooling systems, activating the device, coordinating the work of 15 teams of specialists, testing the device and providing technical support. Ericpol has 5 months to complete the job.
– RCSA has the chance to revolutionise science. This incredible device will allow us to look inside matter itself. Thanks to its 3D design and appropriate algorithms, it constitutes a so-called dedicated machine – it becomes the examined object, with the same parameters as its counterpart in the real world – explains dr Bogdan Wasilewski, CEO of the Łódź Technopark.
The Analyser will be housed in a room 5.40 metres in height, 16 metres in diameter and will weigh around 50 tonnes. The concept for creating and operating RCSA was devised at the Łódź University of Technology. The licence was bought by Technopark, who is the current owner of RCSA. RCSA will allow for the development of innovative computing techniques, thanks to its unique architecture that utilises 3000 custom-designed electronic systems. These systems will be fitted onto 20 panels housed in the device’s panels and connected with modified Ethernet cables with a total length of 100 kilometres. The device will be operated by an interdisciplinary team of engineers and specialists.
The machine currently under construction is currently the world’s largest dedicated analyser used to simulate the course of chemical reactions that take place in complex molecular and biological systems, as well as physicochemical, economic or even sociological phenomena. Simulations carried out with RCSA’s assistance will shorten the time required to carry out laboratory research and lower its costs. The device will allow us to understand the nature of complex phenomena, which in turn will open up new possibilities in many fields. In the pharmaceutical industry, RCSA will be used to develop more effective medicines, which will be better able to fuse themselves with body cells, or, for example, new hydrogel dressings which will speed up the healing process. RCSA will also be used in materials engineering, as it will allow scientists to take a better look at the process of polymer synthesis, and thus to determine the desired features of polymers, such as their surface smoothness, thermal conductivity or solubility. We will therefore be able to produce next-generation materials with a well defined architecture on the molecular level. The cosmetics industry may also profit from research carried out using the RCSA simulator. If researchers learn how macromolecules are diffused through the skin, they will be able to better design new, more effective substances used in everyday care.
Ericpol Sp. z o.o. is an engineering company that has been operating on international ICT market since 1991. The company provides outsourcing, consulting and integration services as well as dedicated solutions in telecommunications, M2M (machine to machine), IoT (Internet of Things), healthcare, finances&banking and business solutions area. Ericpol consists of 4 offices in Poland and 3 production centres in Ukraine, Belarus and Sweden, employing over 2000 people.