Fujitsu aims for 10-petaflop supercomputer

The machine will be based on Fujitsu's eight-core Sparc64 processor

Fujitsu aims to deliver by early 2011 a 10-petaflop supercomputer, which would be almost 10 times more powerful than today's fastest system.

Fujitsu is building the supercomputer for Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, known as RIKEN, said Takumi Maruyama, head of Fujitsu's processor development department, on the sidelines of the Hot Chips conference at Stanford University on Tuesday.

The system will be based on Fujitsu's upcoming Sparc64 VIIIfx processor, which has eight processor cores and will be an update to the four-core Sparc64 VII chip that Fujitsu released two years ago, Maruyama said.

It remains to be seen if Fujitsu can achieve its goal, and it's likely that other system builders are plotting similarly powerful machines.

IBM has said it will build a "petascale" supercomputer based on its upcoming Power7 processor for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. That machine, dubbed Blue Waters, is also due in 2011.

Today's fastest machine is IBM's Roadrunner system at the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory, which was rated at 1.105 petaflops on June's Top500 list of supercomputers. A petaflop is equal to one thousand trillion calculations per second.

Maruyama gave the first in-depth look at the Sparc64 VIIIfx on Tuesday. Each of its eight cores runs at 2GHz and accesses 5MB of L2 cache memory. The processor can achieve 128 Gflops performance while drawing 58 watts of power, he said.

It's based on the same Sparc9 instruction set as other Sparc processors, but adds a set of supercomputing extensions known as HPC-ACE, Maruyama said.

While Fujitsu is already planning for the RIKEN machine, it isn't saying yet when the new Sparc64 chip will be available for other systems.

Fujitsu's current Sparc64 chip, the four-core Sparc64 VII, is sold in Unix servers from Fujitsu and Sun Microsystems. It would be "technically possible" to put the eight-core chip in those machines, but Fujitsu has no plans yet to do so, Maruyama said.

Several chip vendors are presenting papers at Hot Chips about eight-core server processors.

IBM is due to discuss its Power7 processor later Tuesday afternoon. That product is due in systems in the first half of next year.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags supercomputersPower7processorshpcFujitsupetaflopsparc64

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?