Japan's next supercomputer to be 100 times faster than current K

Government has embarked on a mission to develop its next supercomputer which will be ready by 2020, aiming for exaflop capability or 1 quintrillion computations per second.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor on

Japan has started planning to make a next-generation supercomputer by 2020, which will be 100 times faster than K, the country's latest model.

Officials from the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry say they will seek funding to design the new machine in its fiscal 2015 budget requests, The Japan Times reported on Friday.

The ministry hopes to use the next-generation supercomputer to develop drugs and enhance disaster prevention by predicting earthquakes and tsunamis, among other purposes, the officials said. They will also shoot for exaflop capability, or 1 quintrillion computations per second.

It is hoped the cost of the new supercomputer will be kept below the 110 billion yen required to develop K, the ministry said, adding where it will be built has yet to be determined.

Japan's latest supercomputer, K, had been jointly developed by Fujitsu and state-backed Riken research institute in 2011, and was the first supercomputer in the world to perform 10 quadrillion computations per second. But as of November, it had slipped into third place in the global speed rankings behind Titan and Sequoia, developed by the U.S.

According to the Top500 supercomputing list, a biannual ranking of the world's 500 fastest supercomputers, K was first in 2011 but slipped to second in June 2012.

Japan's K Computer, hosted at the Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan (credit: Andy Smith, ZDNet)


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