Tokyo: The world’s fastest supercomputer, Japan’s $1.2 billion Fugaku, is to use its enormous power to try to identify treatments for COVID-19.
Crowned the world’s fastest supercomputer in June, the Fugaku supercomputer is already being deployed in the fight against coronavirus, even though it will not be fully operational until 2021.
The $1.2 billion hardware is currently running simulations on how respiratory droplets travel inside trains with open carriage windows, but when complete, will be tasked with identifying potential treatments for coronavirus from 2,000 existing drugs, including those that have yet to reach the clinical trial stage.
The new system being deployed at the RIKEN Center for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan, consists of 432 racks containing 158,976 nodes, each powered by a Fujitsu 48-core A64FX processor.
Its raw power is immense, capable of making 415 quadrillion computations per second – 2.8 times faster than the previous world’s fastest computer, IBM’s Summit.
Fugaku’s recent recognition by Top500, which ranks the world’s most powerful computer systems, has broken a long run of US and Chinese supercomputer dominance, returning Japan to the top for the first time in 11 years.