Japan Just Dusted Us in ... Petaflops

Meaning, the Japanese now have the fastest supercomputer in the world
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2020 11:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – The US has relinquished its crown for having the world's fastest computer to a surprise challenger: Japan. It's the first time in nine years that Japan has risen to No. 1 ahead of either the US or China, reports Kyodo News. The ranking is bestowed twice a year, in June and November, by the international group TOP500. The winning computer is named Fugaku, after Mt. Fuji, and is the brainchild of the company Fujitsu and a Japanese government research institute known as Riken, per the Nikkei Asian Review.

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So how fast is it? The answer is a little hard to fathom. Fugaku can perform more than 415 quadrillion computations per second, making it nearly three times faster than the second-place finisher, IBM's Summit system. In the lingo of these supercomputers, Fugaku is listed at 415 petaflops, compared to Summit's 148 petaflops. In the next year or so, supercomputers are expected to be operating in terms of "exaflops," meaning thousands of petaflops. CNET notes that Fugaku uses processors in the same family as those Apple will use in the upcoming generation of Macs. (Read more supercomputer stories.)

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