By >Akihabara News Team
Fujitsu Start Shipping Next-Gen Supercomputer
From tech world power Japan comes news of a new super computer, the Kei. The first of the eight hundred individual modules that will be linked together to create this “next generation” supercomputer were shipped today from Fujitsu IT Products. So named after the Japanese name for ten quadrillion (1016 or 1京), the number of calculations that this supercomputer will be able to compute per second.
The supercomputing system will be comprised of more than 800 computer racks, each installed with ultrafast CPUs, in a massively interconnected network, crystallizing Fujitsu’s leading-edge technologies for high performance and high reliability(3).
Fujitsu IT Products Limited, the Fujitsu Group’s high-end server manufacturing company located in Ishikawa Prefecture, central Japan, is manufacturing the supercomputer for delivery to the Kobe-based Advanced Institute for Computational Science of RIKEN.
Fujitsu has taken part in Japanese government’s Next-Generation Supercomputer project(4) since the design phase in 2006. By building a supercomputer system for performing simulations for various disciplines, Fujitsu aims to contribute to Japan’s science and technology infrastructure as well as maintain the country’s international competitiveness.
Glossary and Notes
1 K computer: The Next-Generation Supercomputer nickname announced in July 2010. “K” here draws upon the Japanese word “Kei” for 1016, representing the system’s performance goal of 10 petaflops. In its original sense, “Kei” expresses a large gateway in Japanese, and it is hoped that the system will be a new gateway to computational science.
2 High-Performance Computing Infrastructure (HPCI) initiative: An initiative undertaken by MEXT as an extension of its Next-Generation Supercomputer project. To switch the perspective toward a user orientation, away from the typical development orientation, and create a breakthrough environment that meets the needs of a diverse range of users, the project aims to: 1) develop and implement the Next-Generation Supercomputer to be among the fastest in the world; and 2) tie together the Next-Generation Supercomputer with other supercomputers in Japan to enable wider use, data sharing, and joint analysis.
3 High performance and high reliability: The Next-Generation Supercomputer will use the ultra-high-speed SPARC64TM VIIIfx processor developed by Fujitsu. Each of these processors possesses a computational performance of 128 gigaflops, and has a degree of reliability inherited from Fujitsu’s mainframe technology. The CPUs are also highly energy efficient, with a world-class processing power of 2.2 gigaflops per watt, a reduction of power consumption by 2/3 compared to previous levels.
The supercomputer will comprise of over 80,000 of these processors in an interconnected network (interconnect), utilizing the world’s first six-dimensional mesh-torus topology developed by Fujitsu. This will permit the system to be used more efficiently, as multiple processes can be flexibly allocated to groups of processors. If any part of the system goes down, the failed part can be isolated while overall processing continues, ensuring both high utilization rates and high availability.
The system also adopts water cooling methods to cool processors and other major heat emitters. This enables high mounting densities to be combined with improved component life and reduced failure rates.
4 Next-Generation Supercomputer project: Officially known as the project for the “Development and Utilization of an Advanced, High-Performance, General-Purpose Supercomputer,” the Next-Generation Supercomputer project aims to build the world’s most advanced and powerful supercomputer and develop as well as disseminate associated technologies. The technology of computational sciences is playing an increasingly central role in current scientific methods as well as scientific theory and experimentation. With the aim of maintaining Japan’s leadership role in the fields of science and technology, academic research, industry, medicine, and pharmaceuticals, MEXT launched this project in 2006 with the following goals:
- 1. Develop and build the world’s most advanced and powerful Next-Generation Supercomputer;
- 2. Develop and disseminate software that makes full use of the Next-Generation Supercomputer;
- 3. Establish a world-leading supercomputing research and education center focused on achieving goal number one. In 2009, the Next-Generation Supercomputer project became part of the HPCI initiative.