Japanese supercomputer Fugaku has taken the top spot in the list of 500 most powerful supercomputers in the world.
Fugaku, a supercomputing system jointly developed by Japanese tech firm Fujitsu and Japanese research institute Riken, features chip technology from Arm Ltd and also makes use of Fujitsu's 48-core A64FX system-on-chip.
The machine can carry out over 415.5 quadrillion computations a second (petaflops) and test thousands of substances per week in the search for a coronavirus cure.
In the High Performance Linpack (HPL) test, Fugaku was found to be 2.8 times faster than the American Summit supercomputer, the previous leader. Summit is installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and features chips designed by IBM Corp. It was ranked the world's fastest computing system in November 2019 and is now in second place.
Fugaku, which features about 150,000 high-performance processing units, also took top positions in other rankings, including HPL-AI, Graph 500 and HPCG. No other supercomputer has ever been able to take all four rankings at one time.
Moreover, Fugaku is the first Japanese supercomputer in nine years to get the first spot in Top 500 list. The latest list includes 226 supercomputers from China, 114 from the US, and 30 from Japan.
Fugaku is currently being used on experimental basis for COVID-19 research, including simulation of SARS-CoV-2 virus spread and the effectiveness of a contact-tracing app being used in Japan.
"I very much hope that Fugaku will show itself to be highly effective in real-world applications and will help to realise Society 5.0," Naoki Shinjo, corporate executive officer of Fujitsu, said in a statement.
Number three the latest Top 500 supercomputers list is Sierra, a system installed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California.
Sierra can carry out 94.6 petaflops on HPL. It features 4,320 nodes, each equipped with two Power9 CPUs and four NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs.
Last month, Microsoft announced that is has built a massive supercomputer for OpenAI. This new supercomputer is hosted in the Azure cloud and is claimed to be among the top five supercomputers in the world. It features 285,000 processor cores and 10,000 GPUs and can offer 400 gigabits per second of network connectivity for each GPU server, according to Microsoft.
AMD and Cray also said last year that they are building the world's first exascale supercomputer for the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The machine, which will offer more than 1.5 exaflops of processing power, is expected to be delivered in 2021, according to Cray.
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