Hà Giang Online

In order to create materials with unusual properties, scientists must design special large particles and model complex reactions. Soon, chemical calculations will become easier due to the equipment being built in the Łódź Technology Park. ARUZ is the world’s first such large-scale analyzer, which will greatly accelerate scientific research and the implementation of challenges in many industries.

Photography: Fotolia

How to obtain a smart fabric that does not absorb water or protect us from radiation, which has both transparency and conductivity? This requires specially designed macromolecules, usually polymers.

Real Complex Systems Analyzer-ARUZ will facilitate the modeling of polymerization reactions. The equipment will be ready by the end of July 2015 and will be used to solve problems in the chemical field at the beginning.

“In actual complex systems, there are molecules of various shapes and sizes, such as polymer molecules, low-molecular-weight liquids, etc. Such systems have complex structures, and modeling needs to be simplified. In order to perform highly complex analyses, Special equipment”-Dr. Eng explained. Krzysztof Hałagan of Łódź University of Technology.

As he explained, polymers are very long chains, for example composed of plastics used in almost every area of ​​our lives. The research of polymers is mainly based on experimental methods. First, chemists perform synthesis under very different conditions, choosing the reaction conditions so that the final product meets the given requirements. Then they check whether the polymer obtained in this way has the right properties to make it usable in practice. An example is conductive transparent polymers. For example, this solution can be used for displays, in the future we will stick to glass and display images on the glass.

Each stage of this research is complex, expensive, and time-consuming. Usually, this work is done using a “random” method, which depends on what the researchers do-they will improve it. Before starting laboratory research, the ARUZ analyzer will provide scientists with a lot of information.

As Dr. Hałagan emphasized, although ARUZ performs very advanced calculations and simulations, it is not a supercomputer. It is a group of interconnected FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array) processors. These types of processors differ from ordinary processors in that they can be completely reconfigured.

The supercomputer has a sturdy design. During the test, we entered the appropriate program and tried to simulate the behavior of the system under test. On the other hand, every time we want to solve the ARUZ problem, we can rebuild it. In other words, we are able to adapt the equipment to the specific problem to be solved”-explains Dr. Hałagan.

ARUZ will find applications in the chemical industry as soon as possible, but gradually it will solve research problems in various fields. According to the challenges faced by scientists, the personnel operating the device will be able to change the logic structure inside each FPGA chip, 27,000 of which are connected to a dense three-dimensional network. The way the machine works is to execute logic operations in all FPGAs at the same time. This kind of work is very effective, the device is called a parallel machine, and the exchange of signals between systems is also carried out simultaneously in the entire machine-thousands of times per second.

To reconfigure ARUZ, you need a team of several people-included. Programmers and scientists work with the ordering party to translate the questions into machine language. After completing the simulation, people need to analyze the results obtained.

In 1997, Professor. Tadeusz Pakuła, an employee of the Department of Molecular Physics at Łódź University of Technology, developed the DLL algorithm for the dynamic network fluid model. Scientists at Łódź University of Technology decided to replicate this algorithm in the form of a digital device. But this does not mean that the program can be loaded on an ordinary computer. The engineer created a machine design and two prototypes, and received funding from the Ministry of Science. All these preliminary work confirmed that the concept of realizing algorithms in the form of machines greatly speeds up calculations and is possible. But PŁ does not have enough financial resources to build commercial equipment. This opportunity only appeared when the Lozno Technology Park received more funds to expand its activities. Due to the tendering process, Ericpol was selected as the contractor for the ARUZ project.

Currently, more than a dozen people working with Ericpol are working on analyzers at TUL. This team will gradually increase. This work involves two departments: the Department of Molecular Physics (researchers are responsible for chemistry and physics) and the Department of Microelectronics and Information Technology (for hardware research and software). Since creating layouts is not enough, scientists are constantly developing ideas for interesting and useful applications.

PAP-Polish Science, Karolina Olszewska

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