Japan’s latest supercomputer ‘Fugaku’ is the world’s fastest for computing speed, according to a semi-annual ranking announced by the U.S.-European TOP500 project on Monday.
This is the first time that a Japanese supercomputer has bagged the top position since June 2011, when the “K computer” – Fugaku’s predecessor – took first place.
Jointly developed by Japan’s state-backed RIKEN Center for Computational Science and the firm Fujitsu, Fugaku is the first-ever ARM-based system to become the world’s fastest supercomputer.
It scored a High-Performance Linpack (HPL) score of 415.5 petaflops, which makes it 2.8 times faster than IBM Summit’s 148.6 petaflops that is now in second place in the Top500 supercomputer rankings.
Fugaku is powered by Fujitsu’s 48-core Arm-based A64FX system-on-chip and consists of nearly 7.3-million CPU cores. In single-precision operations, it reaches peak performance of over 1,000 petaflops (1 exaflops). The chips run at 2.0 GHz with a boost to 2.2 GHz and carry 32 GB of HBM2 memory each.
This ARM-based supercomputer also secured the number one position in other rankings that test computers on different parameters, including Graph 500, HPL-AI, and HPCG (High-Performance Conjugate Gradient). This is the first time that a supercomputer has simultaneously topped the rankings in the above four categories, according to Fujitsu.
“I feel extremely happy and honored to have been involved in creating Fugaku, which has ranked as the world’s No.1 (supercomputer),” said Shinichi Kato, President of Fujitsu IT Products Ltd.
Officially the world's fastest #supercomputer – catch up on our blog to discover the potential of Fugaku, developed by @riken_en in partnership with Fujitsu, using @Arm technology. https://t.co/O9KvUuyx5f pic.twitter.com/8WRltDmuG2
— Fujitsu Global (@Fujitsu_Global) June 22, 2020
Currently installed at the RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) in Kobe, Japan, Fugaku will also carry out a wide range of applications that will address “high-priority social and scientific issues.”
The supercomputer is expected to start full-time operation from April 2021 but it is already being used in the fight against coronavirus.
“I hope that the cutting-edge IT developed for it will contribute to major advances on difficult social challenges such as COVID-19,” Satoshi Matsuoka, the head of Riken’s Center for Computational Science, said in a statement.
I installed the contact tracing app for #COVID-19 on my Smartphone. Simulation on #Fugaku indicates we need 60% distribution for effectiveness. I encourage people in Japan to install to protect yourself & save lives. It was pro reviewed to be privacy safe. https://t.co/p2xWyvOJlR
— Satoshi Matsuoka (@ProfMatsuoka) June 22, 2020
“I very much hope that Fugaku will show itself to be highly effective in real-world applications,” said Naoki Shinjo, Corporate Executive Officer of Fujitsu.
In recent years, countries like the U.S. and China have dominated the race to develop powerful machines. This time too China dominated the TOP500 list with 226 supercomputers, while the U.S. took second place with 114 systems, followed by Japan with 30, France with 18, and Germany with 16 systems.