Japan plans superefficient supercomputer by 2017

Japan plans to build a super-efficient computer that could vault it to the top of the world’s supercomputer rankings by the end of next year.

With a processing capacity of 130 petaflops, the planned computer would outperform the current world leader, China’s Sunway TaihuLight, which delivers 93 petaflops. One petaflop is one million billion floating-point operations per second.

Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) isn’t just aiming to build the world’s fastest supercomputers, it also wants to make one of the most efficient. It is aiming for a power consumption of under 3 megawatts — a staggering figure, given that Japan’s current highest entry in the Top500 supercomputer list, Oakforest-PACS, delivers one-tenth the performance (13.6 petaflops) for the same power.

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