Japan Plans to Build the Fastest Supercomputer

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Japan wants to get back into the game by building the next world’s fastest supercomputer.

For the past five years, Japan has been shadowed by China and the U.S. as far as computer performance goes. However, the country intends to make up for lost space by building the world’s fastest supercomputer by the end of the next year, 2017.

Nevertheless, Japan has to win the chance to build the supercomputer first. The bidding for the chance to build the supercomputer will end on December 8th, 2016.

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Japan wants to set itself apart from other nations, especially when it comes to artificial intelligence development. Hence, the AIBC will provide superior computing power to multiple academic institutions and companies.

The future AIBC creators are interested mainly about the massive advancements in the artificial intelligence department. However, the supercomputer could also provide some valuable information on personal computing systems and processing power.

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In 1985, the Cray-2 supercomputer was the world’s fastest computing machine. However, in today’s terms, an iPhone 5 is nearly three times more efficient.

China is currently the record-holder for the most powerful computing system on the planet. The TaihuLight supercomputer can perform 93 petaflops operations per second. The petaflop is a measure particularly used for supercomputers that indicates the clock speed of the unit.

The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology of Japan aims to make the AIBC run at incredible speeds, exceeding 130 petaflops operations per second. In contrast, the current fastest Japanese supercomputer runs at only 13.5 petaflops.

Japan’s Use for the AIBC

The Japanese intend to put their country at the forefront of the evergrowing technological markets once the scientists finish their project. The team of researchers will focus on boosting Japan’s technological field consisting of robotics, unmanned cars, and medical equipment.

However, the main objective will be to accelerate the research in the artificial intelligence department with emphasis on “deep learning”. Through deep learning, the scientists want to teach machines a high level of abstract thinking, mainly associated with human behavior.


A supercomputer does not come cheap. Hence, Japan is expected to spend approximately $173 million for the chance to build the AIBC, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry. However, according to Ars Technica U.K., the Nippon government wants to reduce the costs by allowing companies to rent time on the AIBC for personal use.

Furthermore, it is estimated that the AIBC will run on 3 megawatts, as opposed to the TaihuLight which consumes no less than 15 megawatts of power. Ultimately, the Japanese will keep using Linux as the operating system for the AIBC, if they manage to win the auction.

Image Source: Pixabay

About Andreas Petersen

Andreas was too little to remember when he and his parents first set foot in America. He considers himself a true American citizen, but uses every opportunity to promote his Danish origins. He is deeply found of politics, all nations’ politics and generally looks forward to the presidential elections. His BA degree in Political Sciences has helped him get familiar to the constitutional frames of US and non-US nations.
  • OpenMinded

    Just a minor note on proofreading. A petaflop is a quadrillion (1000 trillion) Floating point operations per second, so as written in the article the computer will do 130 quadrillion floating point operations per second ,floating point operations per second.
    Redundant. Also by the statement “an iPhone 5 is nearly three times more efficient.” for the comparison of the iphone 5 to the Cray 2. I assume what was meant is that it is almost 3 times faster since the Cray 2 used up to 195 Kilowatts.