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Developers aim for Japan’s fastest supercomputer

The Yomiuri Shimbun Emerging supercomputer maker ExaScaler Inc. and Keio University are among those developing an original supercomputer.

Their project is supported by a Japan Science and Technology Agency program that provides subsidies of up to ¥5 billion for promising technologies. The corporate-academic project team aims to achieve the fastest computing speed in Japan by June, which would make the computer the third-fastest in the world, and eventually claim the world’s fastest position.

The new supercomputer will be the first to be equipped with a high-capacity, low-power 3D integrated circuit (IC) developed by Keio University Prof. Tadahiro Kuroda. The team is utilizing ExaScaler’s original “liquid cooling” technology to efficiently cool down the heated computer using liquid carbon fluoride.

These technologies allowed the supercomputer to be downsized to about one meter wide by one meter long. The plan is to link and install 18 such computers at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology’s Yokohama Institute for Earth Sciences, to achieve a speed of 24 quadrillion computations per second. If successfully realized, the new supercomputer will have the highest capability in Japan and be the third-fastest computer in international speed rankings.

According to Tokyo-based ExaScaler, if more money was made available to extend the system’s capacities, the computer would be faster than the current top computer worldwide, which is made by China.

In 2011, the domestic K computer developed by RIKEN became the world No. 1 in terms of computing speed, but fell to seventh place in 2016. The government has spent ¥110 billion to develop a “post-K computer” 100 times faster than the K computer, and expects it to be operational from fiscal 2021.

RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science team leader Junichiro Makino offered a highly optimistic evaluation of the development.

“There may be some challenges along the way, but it has the potential to become excellent technology in terms of both power consumption and price. These developments may have a revolutionary impact on next-generation supercomputers,” he said.Speech

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