Japan creates the world’s fastest supercomputer
When it comes to the world’s most powerful supercomputers, I don’t think it’s to anyone’s great surprise that the most powerful is in Japan. This new Japanese supercomputer has just won first place among all the supercomputers in the world with a performance that makes other supercomputers look like a TI-82.
Known as the “K Computer”, this device is three times faster than its closest rival, China, which used to be first, according to University of Tennessee Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Knoxville Jack Dongarra. Dongarra also keeps the official IT performance rankings.
The K computer, created by Fujitsu and located at the Riken Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan, represents an incredible step forward in the field of speed. This computer will also most likely become a great sense of national pride for Japan, especially for computer scientists, who take the race to have the fastest computer in the world very seriously.
According to Dongarra, “It is a very outstanding machine. It’s much more powerful than other computers.” The last ranking of the top 500 computers is determined by a simple mathematical equation. The computer that takes first place is able to do 8.2 quadrillions of calculations per second, which also gives 8.2 petaflops per second. The performance of the K computer is the same as connecting about 1 million desktop computers.
Supercomputers have many uses, including earthquake simulations, climate modelling, nuclear research and weapons development and testing. Companies also use supercomputers for oil exploration and rapid stock trading. However, building a supercomputer is not cheap and it usually involves connecting thousands of small computers to a data center.
The K Computer consists of 672 cabinets filled with system cards. Computer K is considered energy efficient even though it consumes enough electricity to power about 10,000 homes at an estimated annual cost of $10 million. I would not like to see the statistics on non-energy efficient products. The laboratory that the computer K Computer calls home plans to increase the size of the computer to 800 cabinets which is planned to increase the speed of the supercomputer which is already faster than its five closest competitors.
The K Computer received its name from the Japanese word “Kei” which translates into 10 quadrillions, the overall target for the number of calculations that the supercomputer should be able to perform. The first supercomputer was the Tianhe-1A from China, located at the National Center for High-Performance Computing in Tianjin, China. The Tianhe-1A was the first Chinese supercomputer to reach first place, which served as a beacon for the country’s growing technological prowess.
The fastest supercomputer in the United States is located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He placed third behind computer K and Tianhe-1A. Asian countries have made significant investments in supercomputers and currently dominate the upper echelons of the field. Japan and China alone hold four of the top five places.
However, when it comes to the top 10, the United States is still in the lead, with five of the top ten places. Japan’s best supercomputer is the first in the country since 2004. The United States and China were previously the only countries to hold this title. These rankings, published every six months, are frequently changed and reflect the speed at which computer power is increasing.