Monday, September 20, 2021

Fugaku- Meet The World’s Fastest Supercomputer From Japan

Japan’s supercomputers have been the trailblazers of scientific explorations with 2.8 times faster calculations than an IBM machine in the US. The capabilities of this supercomputer are actually nothing short of extraordinary and are increasingly racing to become the most favorite technology of scientists.  One such supercomputer that we are discussing today is from Japan named Fugaku.

Fugaku has already been put to work on fighting the coronavirus and simulating how droplets would spread in office spaces with long partitions or in packed trains with the windows open. 

The key strengths of Fugaku that makes it the king of all supercomputers are-

  • Ultra-fast speed
  • Methodology

World’s Fastest Supercomputer- Fugaku

The performance of this supercomputer was measured at 515.53 petaflops, 3.8 times faster than second-place Summit’s 148.70 petaflops. The US machine is rented at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee for research purposes and is classified as more than 1,000 times faster than a regular computer. Fugaku also secured the first position over any other supercomputer because of its performance rankings, becoming the first to simultaneously sit at the top of Graph500, HPCG, and HPL-AI lists. 

There are big mysteries that humankind has been trying to solve for more than a century now and one of them is the big bang theory. Japan’s supercomputer ATERUI II— the world’s fastest supercomputer is specially dedicated to astronomical simulations and is being put to the task which requires high efficiency. The job is to find out how the universe went from nothing to exploding to multi-trillion times in size in less than a trillionth of a microsecond, 14.8 billion years ago. 

ALSO READ: Watch NASA’s Perseverance Rover making history on Mars

The Exceptional Mechanism of Fugaku

Assistant professor Masato Shirasaki leads the research team at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ and has used the supercomputer to create 5,000 simulated universes. The art of going from nothing to everything is what scientists call ‘inflation’ —which defines the theory of how the universe expanded during the early days. This is a huge impact on how galaxies are distributed throughout outer space and other galaxies respond. 

While the word inflation is one part of the equation, there are other facts that have affected galaxy distribution, like gravitationally driven growth, and it can lead to fragmentation of gaseous structures in space, astrophysics and cosmology, and other variations. 

The method can short the required observing time in the upcoming galaxy survey missions which is very unique such as Sumire by NAOJ’s Subaru Telescope. Using this method, we can easily verify inflation theories that we have applied earlier with roughly one-tenth of the amount of data. 

The idea of inflation was first set further in the late 1970s. However, it was only in 2014 that scientists Alexei Starobinsky, Alan Guth, and Andrei Linde won the 2014 Kavli Prize for the title of  ‘pioneering the theory of cosmic inflation.

In the 1980s, the theory was put forward to develop how to include this inflation that explained the origin of the universe’s large-scale structure (LSS). Without looking at individual galaxies or grouping up of galaxies, LSS looked at the larger patterns on how galaxies and matter are spread out in the never-ending void of the universe and so-called space. Things were very unusual and there was a need to figure out whether it was right or not. Study-related to space should be done very minutely to avoid any kind of misunderstanding. 

How was Japan able to develop this supercomputer?

Japan operates a number of computer centers for supercomputing which holds the world’s largest records in speed, with the K computer becoming the world’s fastest in June 2011. Fugaku took the lead in June 2020 by overcoming it, and then as of November 2020, to 3 times faster than number two major computers.

The K computer’s performance was impressive and attractive for most scientists and other people, according to Professor Jack Dongarra who maintains the TOP500 list of famous supercomputers. It soon surpassed its next 5 competitors that were combined altogether. The K computer cost US$11 million a year to operate on all-purpose task. 

According to the Kyodo news agency, the supercomputer was named after an alternative word for Mt. Fuji. It also took the first spot in the top three other categories measuring performance in computational methods and other methods for industrial use, machine learning, studies related to artificial intelligence applications, and big data analytics.

Fugaku supercomputer has performed over 442 quadrillion computations per second, around three times faster than the Summit system developed by IBM to be used at U.S. Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The Japanese supercomputer, which was jointly developed with the most famous Fujitsu Ltd. at Riken’s facility in the city Kobe, forms a key foundation for powerful simulations used in scientific research and the way of development of industrial and military technologies is very unique. 

Huda Sameer
Huda Sameer is pursuing Commerce and is experienced in writing for multi-dimensional content. With admiration for developing knowledge through research and exploring an array of genres, Huda loves to bring detailed analysis to the stories she covers. Besides curating content, she is a big foodie by heart who loves to travel, jam to hip hop, and progress towards her ambitions through sheer determination.

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