Japanese supercomputer blisters 10 quadrillion calculations per second

“K” supercomputer builds on Top 500 fastest supercomputer rankings lead

"K"
The Japanese supercomputer ranked #1 on the Top 500 fastest supercomputers broke its own record this week by hitting 10 quadrillion calculations per second (10.51 petaflops), according to its operators, Fujitsu and Riken.

The supercomputer "K" consists of 864 racks, comprising a total of 88,128 interconnected CPUs and has a theoretical calculation speed of 11.28 petaflops, the companies said.

More news: Gartner: 16 long-held IT business practices you need to kill

When the LINPACK benchmark program measured the K computer in its final configuration, the supercomputer system achieved a speed of 10.51 petaflops exceeding its previous speed of 8.162 petaflops, which had placed the system in first place on the TOP500 supercomputer list published June 2011, the companies said.

So what kind of applications is such a monster machine good for? Fujitsu and Riken listed the following:

  • Analyzing the behavior of nanomaterials through simulations and contributing to the early development of such next-generation semiconductor materials, particularly nanowires and carbon nanotubes, that are expected to lead to future fast-response, low-power devices.
  • Predicting which compounds, from among a massive number of drug candidate molecules, will prevent illnesses by binding with active regions on the proteins that cause illnesses, as a way to reduce drug development times and costs (pharmaceutical applications).
  • Simulating the actions of atoms and electrons in dye-sensitized solar cells to contribute to the development of solar cells with higher energy-conversion efficiency.
  • Simulating seismic wave propagation, strong motion, and tsunamis to predict the effects they will have on human-made structures; predicting the extent of earthquake-impact zones for disaster prevention purposes; and contributing to the design of quake-resistant structures.
  • Conducting high-resolution (400-m) simulations of atmospheric circulation models to provide detailed predictions of weather phenomena that elucidate localized effects, such as cloudbursts.

Riken and Fujitsu have been developing  the K computer, as part of Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology a High-Performance Computing Infrastructure program.

Follow Michael Cooney on Twitter: nwwlayer8  and on Facebook

Layer 8 Extra

Check out these other hot stories:

IBM illuminates solar power system aimed at data centers

NASA looking at building tractor beams for space

Harvard to welcome back Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

US intelligence group seeking cutting-edge, secure chip development

The ultimate in man v. machine moments

DARPA offers $50,000 prize if you can figure out these shredded puzzles

NASA: "Interplanetary bogeyman" comet Elenin is no more; it's an ex-comet

US to fund aggressive technology that cuts solar power costs 75%

Air Force wants to understand impact of automated systems the human psyche

After the iPhone, ex-Apple engineers built world's ultimate thermostat

Gartner: The top 10 strategic technology trends for 2012

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.
Related:
Must read: 10 new UI features coming to Windows 10