Fujitsu on Tuesday announced that it initiated first shipments the computing units for Japan's next-generation supercomputer, nicknamed the "K computer". The new supercomputer will be completed in late 2012 and will offer performance roughly five times higher compared to the most powerful supercomputer today, the Jaguar.
The supercomputer is a central part of the High-Performance Computing Infrastructure (HPCI) initiative led by Japan's ministry of education, culture, sports, science and technology (MEXT), and is being jointly developed with RIKEN, an independent administrative institution under MEXT. The system is being delivered to the Kobe-based advanced institute for computational science of RIKEN and is expected to begin operations in autumn 2012 following the installation and tuning process.
The supercomputing system will be comprised of more than 800 computer racks, each installed with Fujitsu's SPARC64 VIIIfx central processing units (CPUs). Each of these eight-core processors possesses a computational performance of 128 gigaFLOPS, and has a degree of reliability inherited from Fujitsu's mainframe technology. The CPUs are also highly energy efficient, with a world-class processing power of 2.2 gigaFLOPS per watt.
The supercomputer will comprise of over 80 000 of these processors in an interconnected network (interconnect), utilizing the world's first six-dimensional mesh-torus topology developed by Fujitsu. This will permit the system to be used more efficiently, as multiple processes can be flexibly allocated to groups of processors.
The code-named K supercomputer system's performance goal is 10 petaFLOPS, which is substantially higher compared to Jaguar, which has max performance of 1.759 PetaFLOPS and peak performance of 2.331 PetaFLOPS.
The system adopts water cooling methods to cool processors and other major heat emitters. This enables high mounting densities to be combined with improved component life and reduced failure rates.
Japanese next-generation supercomputer project aims to build the world's most advanced and powerful supercomputer and develop as well as disseminate associated technologies.