By Tereza Pultarova
The Japanese government is to invest 19.5 billion yen (£139m) in building a 130-petaflop supercomputer that will beat the current world’s fastest machine by a significant margin
The government hopes the new supercomputer will enable the country’s innovators to regain the leading position in technology innovation, which it lost to rivals China and South Korea.
The computer, to be capable of 130 quadrillion calculations per second, will be available for a fee to Japanese companies developing driverless cars, robots, medical diagnostics and other systems.
“As far as we know, there is nothing out there that is as fast,” said Satoshi Sekiguchi, a director general at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, where the computer will be based.
The currently fastest supercomputer in the world is China’s Sunway Taihulight, which is used for weather forecasting, pharmaceutical research and industrial design, but is only capable of 93 quadrillion calculations per second.
The fastest supercomputer ever built in Japan, the Oakforest-PACS developed by Fujistsu, is only capable of 13.6 petaflops.
The new machine, dubbed ABCI for Artificial Intelligence Bridging Cloud Infrastructure, will be completed by the end of 2017. It will provide Japanese innovators with a domestic capability to perform complex analyses involving massive amounts of data. Japan also hopes to advance in the field of artificial intelligence and deep learning, which mimics processes in the human brain to develop smart computer systems.
The technology will help create better algorithms for self-driving cars, capable of analysing large amounts of visual traffic data, and optimise factory automation.
Japanese companies can bid for the project until 8 December.
Source of the article: E&T – Engineering & Technology
The fastest supercomputer in the world may soon come out of Japan
It’s already one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, what with its robotic hotels and its typhoon-powered wind turbines, and now, Japan is looking to further cement its position at the forefront of digital innovation. And it’s all contingent upon a new supercomputer that aims to be the fastest in the world. The goal, Reuters reports, is to create a machine that will help the country’s scientists create or improve upon technologies like driverless cars, robotics, and medicine.
The lofty challenge won’t come cheap. Reports note that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will invest around $173 million on the project as Japan attempts to differentiate itself from fellow Asian technology superpowers China and South Korea. And there’s no differentiator like speed, apparently.
So just how fast is fast? As Reuters reports, the computer will be expected to make 130 quadrillion calculations per second, or in technical vernacular, 130 petaflops. That’s significantly faster than the machine that currently claims the title of world’s fastest — the Sunway Taihulight in China has only achieved 93 petaflops. And not only will Japan’s computer be fast, it’s coming fast too — the supercomputer could make an appearance by next year from the country’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.
One of the key areas of improvement that may be catalyzed by the computer is artificial intelligence. As a computer makes faster and faster calculations, scientists hope that it will be able to more closely mirror our brains’ neural pathways, thereby aiding in the advance of deep learning technology. This, in turn, could aid in self-driving car technology, better factory automation, and improvements in medical technology, Reuters said.
No company has yet been chosen to undertake the ambitious project, though bidding has opened and will come to a close on December 8. So stay tuned — we’ll just have to see what becomes of the world’s fastest computer.
Source: Digital Trends