As both the United States and China have been so focused on competing against each other in the race to build the fastest computer in the world, they forgot about the tech genius that subsides in Japan.
Japan launched its own initiative and has seemingly created the most powerful and quickest supercomputer on planet Earth named Fugaku, and will be installed in Kobe, a city on Osaka Bay in central Japan. The Fugaku took the top spot in speed rankings released on Monday, beating the previous first placed supercomputer from IBM dramatically, carrying out 2.8 times as many calculations. A second IBM computer moves down the third and the fourth and fifth spots are owned by Chinese machines.
While Japan has been a relatively small player in the supercomputing competition with China and the US boasting over 330 systems in the latest top 500, it does have previous for pushing incredibly powerful machines with the prime example being the K Supercomputer. This Fugaku predecessor launched itself to the number one position back in 2011 but sadly was knocked off the next year by a US counterpart.
We know they’re powerful but what do supercomputers actually do? Well, they’re primarily used for things like code breaking, scientific and military tasks, and new car designs. This new entry from Japan is currently being focused on the study and diagnosis of COVID-19, a brilliant usage and one the virus should be scared of.
It’s great to see the small-sized Japan competing with much larger forces and maybe the Fugaku supercomputer will retain it’s gold medal this time next year!