Japan now starts a long term project to build and complete the next generation supercomputer.
The race is now on for several research institutions around the world to build the next generation supercomputer, one that would completely eclipse the best supercomputers today.
Japan’s multi-institutional research organization RIKEN has also laid out the first foundations for this type of project, as they start to develop the country’s first exaflop supercomputer. The exaflop supercomputer will be built and established at RIKEN’s Advanced Institute of Computational Science, and is designed to replace the K supercomputer, taking over the former supercomputer’s role in general scientific research.
An exaflop technically means 10^18, or 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 floating point operations per second. To put that into perspective, the K supercomputer that it would replace has a computational capacity of 10.5 petaflops, 10^15, or 10,500,000,000,000,000 floating point operations per second. So, an exaflop supercomputer has about 1,000 times more the computational capacity of RIKEN’s current fastest supercomputer. It would even be faster than China’s (Intel powered) Tianhe-2 supercomputer, currently the world’s fastest, which has a maximum computational capacity of about 54 petaflops.
RIKEN projects the completion of the first development phase around mid-2015, with 2018 as the deadline for the hardware installations and construction of the facility. The exaflop supercomputer itself is expected to be fully operational around the year 2020.