THE Fugaku supercomputer, developed jointly by the Riken Research Institute and the manufacturer Fujitsu, holds on to the top spot in the Top500, the benchmark ranking of the world’s most powerful non-distributed computer systems. It now boasts a record 442 petaflops of computing power.
Fugaku has been regarded as the world’s most powerful computer for two years. It now combines performance, energy savings and ease of programming, according to Riken’s teams, making it a reference for simulation, big data and artificial intelligence. It has also been involved in studying the spread of covid-19 in Japan.
Fugaku, named after Japan’s highest mountain, Mount Fuji, is based on the ARM A64FX processor and has a total of 7,630,848 cores. Its score of 442 petaflops is almost three times higher than its runner-up, an IBM supercomputer. Even if Riken promises to continue to improve its computing capabilities, competitors in the US, as well as in China, are working on supercomputer projects that could blow these numbers out of the water.
By way of comparison, the computer that topped the very first Top500 list in 1976 had a score of 160 megaflops, the equivalent of “just” one million operations per second. It was the American supercomputer Cray-1.