Particle physics research

Research and industry unite at CERN’s 2022 technical workshop openlab

More than 200 people attended the CERN openlab 2022 technical workshop. The event took place online over three days, from March 21 to 23. It brought together leading computing experts from research and industry to discuss the work carried out in 32 joint R&D projects spread across CERN.

CERN openlab is a unique public-private partnership, through which CERN collaborates with leading technology companies. For 20 years, this partnership has worked to accelerate innovation in the computing technologies required by the LHC research community. Today, more than 20 companies and research organizations work together at CERN openlab. Industry members include Intel, Oracle, Siemens, Micron and Google.

At the CERN openlab 2022 technical workshop, project teams shared their progress and discussed the upcoming computing challenges related to the ambitious LHC upgrade programme. “Through CERN openlab, we are collaborating with industry leaders to meet tomorrow’s computing challenges today,” says Enrica Porcari, Head of CERN Computing Department. “These challenges concern a growing number of scientific fields, as well as society at large. Through collaboration with the CERN Knowledge Transfer group and dedicated R&D projects focused on sharing knowledge and tools with other communities, CERN openlab plays an important role in contributing to the positive impact of CERN on the society.

Exascale, AI, quantum computing and more

A highlight of the first day of the workshop, dedicated to exascale computing technologies, was the opening technical presentation, which focused on the Allen project. This project has developed a new, more efficient system that sees the first level of the LHCb experiment’s data filtering ‘trigger’ system shift to running on graphics processing units (GPUs), rather than central processing units. (CPU) for general purpose.

The second day of the workshop focused on two distinct topics, AI and collaborations with research beyond particle physics, with presentations on both the potential of advanced AI for analysis of data at CERN and the impact of CERN openlab on various fields such as quantum encryption, climate modeling and satellite imagery to support humanitarian interventions. Day three focused on quantum technologies, including presentations on the CERN Quantum Technology Initiative (QTI), an exciting new venture that released its first strategic roadmap in October 2021.

Working together to meet tomorrow’s IT challenges today

In 2022, the openlab team at CERN will undertake work to strengthen existing collaborations with industry, finalize plans for a series of exciting R&D projects and establish new collaborations to address emerging computing challenges.

“CERN openlab has established close links between members of the CERN research community and the R&D teams of the main technology companies participating in this partnership. It is proof of the strength of these ties that we have been able to both grow our collaborations and achieve significant technical progress on projects over the past two years, when face-to-face interaction was very limited,” says Maria Girone, head of technology at CERN openlab. Officer. “We now look forward to resuming face-to-face meetings with our collaborators and welcoming the 2022 cohort of CERN openlab summer students to the CERN site in July.”