The fastest supercomputers are selected twice a year in the form of the TOP500 ranking. This time, Japan managed to enter the TOP500 of the world’s most powerful supercomputers with Fugaku, which delivers great performance and energy efficiency thanks to the use of ARM architecture.
The Japanese supercomputer Fugaku is developed by the public research institute RIKEN in partnership with the Japanese computer group Fujitsu. Twice as fast as the American Summit, which had won first place in the world for four years, the Japanese supercomputer calculates at a speed of 415.53 petaflops. This is about 2.8 times higher than that of the runner-up Summit, with 148.6 petaflops.
The supercomputer Summit is developed by IBM and installed in the national laboratory of nuclear physics in Oak Ridge (Tennessee).
In single or further reduced precision, Fugaku’s peak performance is over 1,000 petaflops (1 exaflop). Powered by Fujitsu’s 48-core A64FX SoC, Fugaku becomes the first number one system on the list to be powered by ARM processors.
With a good 152,000 48-core Fujitsu A64FX processors (ARM architecture), Fugaku combines almost 7.3 million cores. In the run-up, there was even talk of over 7.6 million cores, which indicates the potential for further expansion up to the targeted top performance.
Fugaku is installed at RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) in Kobe, Japan, and its use is for machine learning and artificial intelligence applications. It should also be called in the long term to contribute to the research of new drugs, new energy, and industrial solutions to the simulation of natural disasters or even to fundamental research on the universe, according to the RIKEN Institute.
In addition to the TOP500, Fugaku has also taken the lead in the Graph500, HPCG, and HPL-AI rankings: this is the first time that a supercomputer has simultaneously taken the first place in these four rankings, according to the RIKEN Institute.
At present, Fugaku is doing experimental work on COVID-19, including simulating how the virus spreads. Many supercomputers around the world are working to overcome the coronavirus outbreak, which allows researchers to better understand new viruses and how to fight a pandemic.