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Society faces a number of urgent challenges, especially in the areas of climate change and sustainability. To solve these dilemmas, leading research and ICT players need to pool knowledge and accelerate the development of cutting-edge supercomputing power.
Japan's leading research institute RIKEN chose Fujitsu to develop one of the world's most powerful supercomputers, the K computer. As part of the High Performance Computing Infrastructure Initiative led by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the K computer will be used to solve the energy, sustainability, healthcare, climate change, industrial and space challenges facing society today.
The K computer is the world's first supercomputer that broke the 10 petaflops barrier. So how fast is 10 petaflops?
The number ten "peta," or 10 quadrillion corresponds to 1 followed by 16 zeros. In Japanese, this is expressed as one "Kei." That is why this supercomputer is called the K computer. 10 quadrillion worth of computations is equivalent to the world's 7 billion people each performing one computation per second, 24 hours a day for about 17 days. The K computer is able to do all of those computations in just one second.
The heart of the K computer consists of 80,000 or more "SPARC64™ VIIIfx" CPUs. Each CPU is equipped with eight cores, which are "the minimum units that perform calculations", and performs 128-gigaflops. Moreover the 80,000 or more CPUs (640,000 or more cores) combined achieve the tremendously high speed of 10-petaflops computational performance per second (one Kei in Japanese).
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