Science

Japan’s New Supercomputer will Eclipse China’s Sunway TaihuLight as World’s Fastest

By | Jun 14, 2017 08:17 PM EDT
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Soon, Number 2

China's Sunway TaihuLight, currently the world's fastest supercomputer. (Photo : National Supercomputing Center )

Japan is building the world's fastest supercomputer, a monster that will occupy 1,000 square meters of floor space, and will be capable of an astonishing speed of 130 petaFLOPS or 130 quadrillion (130 million billion) calculations per second.

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When this supercomputer given the name "AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure" (ABCI) comes online in April 2018, it will far eclipse China's Sunway TaihuLight, currently the world's fastest supercomputer, with a LINPACK benchmark score of 93 petaFLOPS and a claimed peak of 124.5 petaFLOPS.

Sunway TaihuLight is the first system in the world to exceed 100 petaFLOPS and came online in June 2016.

Sunway TaihuLight is nearly three times faster than the world's previous number one system, China's Tianhe-2 supercomputer, which was the world's fastest for past three years.

TaihuLight, which is installed at China's National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, uses ShenWei CPUs developed by Jiangnan Computing Research Lab in Wuxi. The operating system is a Linux-based Chinese system called Sunway Raise.

ABCI is being built at the University of Tokyo for use in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and deep learning. It's being built by Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology.

"The current supercomputer system is one million times faster than your personal computers," said Satoshi Sekiguchi, a director general at the ‎National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). AIST's role is to integrate scientific and engineering knowledge to address socio-economic needs.

"The supercomputer that is currently under development would take up about 1,000 square meters of floor space," said Sekiguchi.

Sekiguchi said ABCI will help Japanese companies develop and improve driverless cars, robotics and medical diagnostics.

"A supercomputer is an extremely important tool for accelerating the advancement in such fields," he said.

Sekiguchi also said the "supersonic speed" of ABCI will help Japan develop advances in artificial intelligence technologies such as deep learning.


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