09 July 2010

Tokyo Tech to take lead in supercomputing in Japan

AP - Kyodo News report that the Tokyo Institute of Technology plans to have its new Tsubame 2.0 ('tsubame' is Japanese for the fast-flying bird, the swallow) operational later this year, giving it the lead in speed and processing power in Japan. Japan, however, has taken a backseat in supercomputer progress in recent years in terms of global rankings. Still, Japanese manufacturers NEC, Fujitsu and Hitachi remain world class developers of technology for supercomputing. For example, NEC recently announced development of a computer chip that is the world's fastest, surpassing anything Intel has. And Fujitsu plans to increase sales of supercomputers to European institutions and companies.

RIKEN, the supergroup of research institutes in Japan, plans to construct the world's most powerful supercomputer, which would put the country back in the top spot. However, this extravagant undertaking faced suspension due to proposed budget cuts. The project has received enough of a 'lifeline' to keep going, but the 2012 deadline looks questionable.    

See article at link below, excerpt follows link.


TOKYO, June 17 (AP) - (Kyodo)—The Tokyo Institute of Technology said Wednesday it will commence in November the full-fledged operation of Tsubame 2.0, which would become Japan's fastest supercomputer.

The computer can calculate 2,400 trillion times per second, or 12 times faster than a supercomputer at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, which is currently the fastest in the country.

Tsubame 2.0, however, is expected to be overtaken once Riken, a comprehensive research institute for natural sciences, starts operating a next-generation supercomputer in 2012. The Riken supercomputer project had faced suspension under a decision by the waste-cutting panel of the government led by the Democratic Party of Japan but was later allotted a budget to continue development.

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