Computing boost for Japanese research

03 March 2010

The fastest supercomputer in Japan has been put to use for nuclear energy research by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA). The new system has a performance over 12 times greater than its previous systems.


JAEA Supercomputer (Fujitsu)
JAEA's new supercomputer system (Image: Fujitsu)
With a performance of 186.1 Teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second), the Fujitsu-supplied machine will be Japan's quickest - and the fastest in the world dedicated to civil nuclear science.


The new supercomputer is far faster than JAEA's previous computers: a shared system (theoretical peak performance of 13 teraflops) and a system for use in its fast reactor project (2.4 teraflops). The new system combines the functions of the two existing systems.


A statement said: "The new system will be used in a variety of areas of atomic energy research, including nuclear fusion simulations. It will also play an important role in the safe use of atomic energy."


Supercomputers are widely used in nuclear science by universities and national laboratories and notable in this group is the world's fastest of all, the new Jaguar system at Oak Ridge in the USA - capable of 2300 Teraflops. However, many of these are used for a variety of scientific purposes and nuclear work may be defense-related. The new Japanese supercomputer will be the fastest dedicated to civil nuclear research.


JAEA's computer ranks 19th in the world, according to Fujitsu and the Linpack benchmark. It is based on the company's Primergy BX900 blade servers in a configuration of 2134 nodes employing 4268 CPUs and a total of 17,072 cores.


Toshio Hirayama, director of the JAEA's Center for Computational Science and e-Systems said: "Supercomputers are indispensible for the kind of scientific computations required in nuclear energy research and development." He added, "I'm confident that the new supercomputer system will make it possible to bring calculations that had been impractically large within reach." Hirayama said that JAEA intends to develop codes for the next-generation supercomputer that will be deployed in 2012.


Researched and written

by World Nuclear News