RIKEN to develop exascale supercomputer by 2020

December 30, 2013

China’s Tianhe 2, current fastest supercomputer (credit: Jack Dongarra)

RIKEN has announced plans to develop a new exascale supercomputer, meaning it will compute at least one quintillion (a million trillion) floating point operations per second — 30 times faster than the current fastest supercomputer, China’s Tianhe-2.

The new supercomputer is scheduled to begin working in 2020.

Funded by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, it is expected to “keep Japan at the leading edge of computing science and technology,” RIKEN said in a statement.

The new system will be about 100 times faster than the RIKEN-developed K computer, formerly the fastest supercomputer in the world in 2011. RIKEN was selected for the new project based on its experience developing and managing the K computer, the research institution says. The RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) will continue to operate and manage the K computer.

The Tianhe-2, developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology, has an Rmax performance of 33.86 petaflop/s, according to the Top500 list of supercomputers.

Exascale supercomputing is expected to make possible high-resolution simulations, contributing to advances in a wide range of areas including drug discovery, weather forecasting, and astrophysics.

The K computer (credit: RIKEN)