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22nd June 2020

Japanese supercomputer is world's fastest

The supercomputer Fugaku – jointly developed by RIKEN and Fujitsu, based on Arm technology – has taken first place on Top500, a ranking of the world's fastest supercomputers.

It swept other rankings too – claiming the top spot on HPCG, a ranking of supercomputers running real-world applications; and HPL-AI, which ranks supercomputers based on their performance in artificial intelligence applications; and Graph 500, which ranks systems based on data-intensive loads.

This is the first time in history that the same supercomputer has achieved number one on Top500, HPCG, and Graph500 simultaneously. The awards were announced today at the ISC High Performance 2020 Digital, an international high-performance computing conference.

 

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Credit: RIKEN

 

On the Top500, it achieved a LINPACK score of 415.53 petaflops, nearly triple the 148.6 petaflops of its nearest competitor, Summit in the United States. Furthermore, it only used 152,000 of its eventual 159,000 nodes that will become available when full operation begins in 2021. Fugaku is listed as having a theoretical peak performance of 513.8 petaflops, or about 0.51 exaflops (although the earlier "sustained" Rmax value is generally preferred when assessing supercomputer speeds). This marks the first time a Japanese system has taken the top ranking since the K computer in June 2011.

On HPCG, Fugaku scored 13,400 teraflops using 138,240 nodes, and on HPL-AI it scored 1.421 exaflops – the first time a computer has earned an exascale rating on any list – using 126,720 nodes. The top ranking on Graph 500 was won using 92,160 nodes to solve a breadth-first search of a gigantic graph with 1.1 trillion nodes and 17.6 trillion edges in just 0.25 seconds, earning a score of 70,980 gigaTEPS, far surpassing China's Sunway TaihuLight, which is currently second on the list, with 23,756 gigaTEPS.

Fugaku, installed at the RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) in Kobe, Japan, is being developed under a national plan to design a next generation flagship supercomputer. It will tackle a range of high-priority social and scientific issues, as part of the Society 5.0 plan, by running applications in areas such as drug discovery; personalised and preventive medicine; simulations of natural disasters; weather and climate forecasting; clean energy generation and storage; new materials; and new production processes. Fugaku is already being used on an experimental basis for research on COVID-19, including on diagnostics, therapeutics, and simulations of the spread of the virus. Additionally, it will be used in studying the fundamental laws and evolution of the Universe. The new machine is scheduled to begin full operation in April 2021.

 

fastest supercomputer future timeline
Credit: RIKEN

 

"Ten years after the initial concept was proposed, and six years after the official start of the project, Fugaku is now near completion," said Satoshi Matsuoka, director of RIKEN R-CCS. "Fugaku was developed based on the idea of achieving high performance on a variety of applications of great public interest, such as the achievement of Society 5.0, and we are very happy that it has shown itself to be outstanding on all the major supercomputer benchmarks. In addition to its use as a supercomputer, I hope that the leading-edge IT developed for it will contribute to major advances on difficult social challenges such as COVID-19."

"I believe that our decision to use a co-design process for Fugaku, which involved working with RIKEN and other parties to create the system, was a key to our winning the top position on a number of rankings," said Naoki Shinjo, Corporate Executive Officer of Fujitsu Limited. "I am particularly proud that we were able to do this just one month after the delivery of the system was finished, even during the COVID-19 crisis."

"The supercomputer Fugaku illustrates a dramatic shift in the type of compute that has been traditionally used in these powerful machines, and it is proof of the innovation that can happen with flexible computing solutions driven by a strong ecosystem," said Rene Haas, President, IPG, Arm. "For Arm, this achievement showcases the power efficiency, performance and scalability of our compute platform, which spans from smartphones to the world's fastest supercomputer. We congratulate RIKEN and Fujitsu Limited for challenging the status quo and showing the world what is possible in Arm-based high-performance computing."

 

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