Japan is building the world’s fastest supercomputer capable of making 130 quadrillion calculations per second (otherwise known as petaflops).
The 130-petaflops supercomputer will be built at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST).
The computer will outperform the current most powerful computer, China’s Sunway Taihulight – capable of 93 petaflops.
Satoshi Sekiguchi, a director general at AIST, told Reuters: “As far as we know, there is nothing out there that is as fast,”
Not only will the Japanese supercomputer be incredibly fast, it will also be super-efficient – the team is aiming for a power consumption of under 3 megawatts. To put things in perspective, the Sunway Taihulight uses 15.3 megawatts of power.
The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will invest 19.5 billion yen ($173 million USD) on the project, which is being called “AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure,” or ABCI.
As the name of the project suggests, the computer will be used for ultra-fast calculations to accelerate advances in artificial intelligence, such as deep learning technology – the speed of the calculations it makes allows it to more closely mirror our brains’ neural pathways.
Deep learning technology is used in the research community and in industry to help solve big data problems such as computer vision, speech recognition, and natural language processing.
The computer will be made available for a fee to Japanese companies – many of which currently outsource data crunching to firms abroad.
Bidding has already opened and will close on December 8.