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The race to build the fastest supercomputer just sped up

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China’s New Supercomputer_JACK DONGARRA

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The race to build the fastest supercomputer just sped up

By Steven Overly

Japan has not been home to the world’s fastest supercomputer in five years and now its government wants to reclaim the crown.

The country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has allocated the equivalent of $173 million to a project aimed at building a supercomputer capable of processing 130 petaflops, or 130 quadrillion calculations per second, according to Reuters. That kind of processing speed could allow Japan to make strides in emerging areas of technology, such as artificial intelligence and robotics.

Companies have until Dec. 8 to bid on the project, which is being called AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure, or ABCI. It could be completed as early as next year, Reuters reported.

Once a global technology powerhouse, Japan has gradually slipped behind other countries in the innovation game. The country’s leading supercomputer has not ranked first in the world since November 2011 and currently finishes outside the top five, according to Top500.org, which standardizes and ranks global superpowers.

China now owns and operates the world’s two fastest supercomputers, including the No. 1-ranked Sunway Taihulight, which can handle 93 petaflops. The United States has the third, fourth and fifth fastest supercomputers, according to Top500.org.

source : The Wahingtom Post

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