China might have overtaken Japan as the world’s second largest economy, but for the moment, Japan is still top dog when it comes to the world’s fastest supercomputer, although China did touch the summit for a while before the Japanese pulled themselves together with the Fujitsu K that outperformed China’s Tianhe-1A. It was announced in August that the Japanese government are ready to invest another $1.3 billion into supercomputer development, and that kind of dough has made the K run on steroids so to speak, making it faster than ever before.
This is the first computer on the globe that is capable of handling more than 10 quadrillion calculations per second – which amounts to a whopping 10 petaflops if you want to get technical. The Fujitsu K comprises of 88,128 CPUs that are arrayed over 864 racks, where they ran non-stop for almost 30 hours in order to touch the 10.51 petaflops mark. Just to see how far it has come with that fresh cash injection, K’s benchmark in June was “just” 8.162 petaflops.
The function of K is not just to appear in archives of world records, but rather, to assist the government to predict earthquakes and other natural disasters.
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