Research and Services Division of Materials Data and Integrated System, National Institute for Materials Science
Growth of the semiconductor industry increases computer power exponentially as observed by Moore’s law. Its power enabled numerically solving physical models accurately. Now, our daily life is supported by such computer simulations as represented by weather forecasts. Traditionally, scientific software was often developed in academia, and people came to use scientific software for its usefulness. As the numerical calculation is more detailed seeking for quantitative results, the scale of the software is increased. Popular scientific software projects have grown over their size limits that original developers can take care of. People created their scientific software communities and started helping scientific software developments under open source software licenses. I started software development of phonon calculation code, phonopy, for our own research purpose. Since phonon is one of the most fundamental quasi-particles, once a useful code available, many researchers wanted to use it. Finally, I realized that phonopy code has become an infrastructure in the scientific community since many people started to join the development of phonopy code. Through the activity of phonopy code, I could learn a lot about scientific software development. Scientific software has huge potential to improve our society either directly or indirectly. To see the future of scientific software development, I would like to show the trend of computer hardware and software environments.