Fujitsu announced that today it began shipping the computing units for Japan's Next-Generation Supercomputer, nicknamed the "K" computer.
"K" draws upon the Japanese word "Kei" for 1016, representing the system's performance goal of 10 petaflops.
The supercomputer is a central part of the High-Performance Computing Infrastructure (HPCI) initiative led by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and is being jointly developed with RIKEN, an independent research institution funded by the Japanese government. The system is being delivered to the Kobe-based computational science research facility of RIKEN and is expected to begin operations in autumn 2012 following the installation and tuning process.
The system will be comprised of more than 800 computer racks, each installed with ultrafast CPUs, in a massively interconnected network, crystallizing Fujitsu's technologies for high performance and high reliability.
The Supercomputer will use the ultra-high-speed SPARC 64 VIIIfx processor developed by Fujitsu. Each of these processors possesses a computational performance of 128 gigaflops. The CPUs are also highly energy efficient, with a world-class processing power of 2.2 gigaflops per watt, a reduction of power consumption by 2/3 compared to previous levels.
The supercomputer will comprise of over 80,000 of these processors in an interconnected network (interconnect), utilizing the first six-dimensional mesh-torus topology developed by Fujitsu. This will permit the system to be used more efficiently, as multiple processes can be flexibly allocated to groups of processors. If any part of the system goes down, the failed part can be isolated while overall processing continues, ensuring both high utilization rates and high availability.
The system also adopts water cooling methods to cool processors and other major heat emitters. This enables high mounting densities to be combined with improved component life and reduced failure rates.
Fujitsu IT Products Limited, the Fujitsu Group's high-end server manufacturing company located in Ishikawa Prefecture, central Japan, is manufacturing the supercomputer for delivery to the Kobe-based computational science research facility of RIKEN.
Fujitsu has taken part in Japanese government's Next-Generation Supercomputer project since the design phase in 2006.