Japan Wants To Overtake China With Worlds Fastest Supercomputer

Author

Leo King, Contributor

November 25, 2015

Japan is attempting to create the world’s fastest supercomputer, which may exceed work by China and even the latest efforts in the US.

Flagship 2020, as it is called, is being developed by RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Hyogo, southern Japan, alongside Fujitsu.

The new machine will far exceed its well known predecessor, K computer, which is extensively used for numerous large scale data crunching purposes, including weather prediction – this week K computer scored a breakthrough with the world’s largest real time global weather analysis, simulation and prediction.

Flagship 2020 will have 100 times the application performance of K, its creators have said, when it goes live in five years’ time. This is in spite of K already being the world’s fourth fastest supercomputer.

Flagship 2020 will, like K, be used for weather purposes, but there are many other plans. It is intended to be an exascale machine, meaning it will perform at more than 1,000 petaflops. (A petaflop is the ability to perform one quadrillion arithmetic operations per second.)

Predicting Disease And Natural Disaster

During a presentation at today’s SC15 supercomputing conference in Austin, Texas, the machine’s creators will discuss how it can be used for big data and likely artificial intelligence purposes. These will primarily include applications such as genome processing and pattern identification for health issues.

In addition, they are set to discuss meteorological and climate predictions using the many-core system, according to the SC15 website.

The team working on the Linux-based machine is currently focusing on “a number of challenges” around system software, architecture, applications, and co-design, according to RIKEN. The aim is to “create a system that can properly respond to the future needs of science and technology”.

The Exascale Race Is On

Numerous other countries are forging ahead with supercomputer plans, notably including China which currently has the world’s fastest supercomputer – its future plans are less well understood. In July this year, US President Barack Obama authorized the beginning of work on America’s first exascale machine, intended for use by NASA, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security, among others.

The go-live date for this US exascale supercomputer is not yet known.

This article was written by Leo King from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


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