Japan is in the news. Several weeks ago, Japan made headlines with the national bank planning to release as much as $1.4 trillion dollars into the local economy (in our discussions with the people involved with the plan, we learned that the money is meant to be spent in Japan only). Shinzo Abe, Japan's prime minister
then announced what the country will do with the mind-boggling amount of money.
Alongside populist measures such as depreciating Yen to ease up exports of goods and stimulate tourist travel to Japan, the "Abenomics" principle has significant amount of funds dedicated for computing scientists spread in Universities around Japan.
What should make the headlines though, is a mind-boggling budget of 1 billion US dollars to build world's first EXAFLOPS computer
, a supercomputer capable of performing 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 floating point operations per second (quintillion, 1018). This is 100x faster than Japan's fastest supercomputer, simply named K computer
Chisachi Kato, Professor at the University of Tokyo told us that the development of the new supercomputer isn't expected before 2020 and it should use in-country developed processors, meaning foreign vendors such as Intel, Nvidia or AMD are expected to be shut out of the bidding. Just like the K computer was built using SPARC64 VIIIfx processors made by Fujitsu, we expect that this $1 billion supercomputer will remain "Made in Japan".
The question is, will the Japanese be the first, or will South Africa and Australia launch their GPGPU-based EFLOPS Supercomputers first? Interesting times lie ahead for the supercomputing community.
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