AsianScientist (Nov. 18, 2020) – Fugaku’s done it again. For the second time in a row, Japan’s flagship supercomputer has been recognized as the world’s fastest in terms of computing speed by the biannual TOP500 rankings. The awards were announced on November 16, 2020, during the SC20 High-Performance Computing Conference, currently being held as a virtual event.
Housed at the RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) in Kobe, Fugaku was jointly developed by RIKEN and Fujitsu Limited over nearly six years. In fact, the system just completed installation this month. While trial operations are already ongoing, general use is still scheduled to begin in April 2021.
Despite this, researchers in Japan have been harnessing Fugaku since the start of 2020 to accelerate coronavirus research on all fronts. Once fully operational, the supercomputer is set to be applied in everything from simulating natural disasters to studying the evolution of the universe.
Last June, Fugaku took the crown as the world’s fastest supercomputer with a LINPACK score of 415.53 petaFLOPS or around 415 quadrillion computations per second. This time around, the system managed to increase its speed to 442.01 petaFLOPS—nearly three times faster than its closest competitor, Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Summit. These results were achieved with the addition of 6,912 nodes, bringing Fugaku to its full force of 158,976 nodes fit into 432 racks.
Japan’s flagship supercomputer also topped other three rankings, including HPCG, which measures the performance of systems running real-world applications; HPL-AI, which rates supercomputers based on artificial intelligence tasks and Graph 500, which ranks systems based on data-intensive loads.
For the latter, Fugaku solved a breadth-first search of a graph with 1.1 trillion nodes and 17.6 trillion edges in the blink of an eye—0.25 seconds—earning the system a score of 102,955 gigaTEPS. In comparison, its nearest competitor, China’s Sunway TaihuLight had a performance of 23,756 gigaTEPS.
Amid all these achievements, Fugaku also maintained its standing as one of the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputers, ranking 10th in the Green500 list.
“Ten years after the concept was launched, and six years after the official start of the project, Fugaku is nearly completed,” said Dr. Satoshi Matsuoka, director of RIKEN-R-CCS. “I hope that Fugaku will come into widespread use as a supercomputer and that the IT developed for Fugaku [will contribute] to the solution of global problems such as COVID-19 and lead innovation in Japan.”
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