With any technology, there is always a race to develop the latest and fastest, and this accolade is currently held by the supercomputer Fugaku, number one in the TOP500 list, which is currently being installed at RIKEN. As the name suggests, supercomputers are not only fast but large – and Fugaku occupies some 1,900 square metres of floor space, which is equivalent to four basketball courts. The supercomputer derives its name from an alternative name for Mount Fuji, symbolising its “high” performance. Fugaku uses 158,976 A64FX Fujitsu CPUs joined together using Tofu interconnect, a proprietary computer network topology developed by the company for supercomputers.Balancing challenges, performance and prestigeThe design and development of a supercomputer such as Fugaku are complex and present numerous challenges for the various partners involved. For a company such as Fujitsu, internationally recognised as a leader in information technology, there is also great prestige attached to a project of this magnitude. However, this can only be realised if individual and specific technical, operational and safety challenges are addressed in a way that will eliminate risk. Other important factors to be considered include reducing the requirements for maintenance and subsequent downtime, to allow Fugaku to operate at the highest possible levels of utility effectiveness. The choice of suppliers for the different elements of the project therefore will play a crucial role in ensuring its overall success.
Read the full article in PBSI's September issue
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