Fujitsu Ltd. President Masami Yamamoto said Monday the company is developing a new supercomputer to succeed K, the supercomputer it built with state-backed major research institute Riken, now that a U.S. machine has stolen its computing speed crown.
Yamamoto told a shareholders’ meeting in Yokohama he hopes to regain the top slot in the world rankings in a few years, after Japan dropped to second after winning the previous two rankings, according to the announcement by the U.S.-European TOP500 project.
However, he declined to talk about when the new supercomputer will be available or its expected performance.
K, now at Riken’s facilities in Kobe, was the first supercomputer to log a computational speed of over 10 petaflops per second. Its name draws upon the Japanese word “kei,” which means 10 to the 16th power, representing the system’s performance goal of 10 petaflops. One petaflop is equivalent to 1 quadrillion operations per second.
The Sequoia supercomputer at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved 16.32 petaflops per second, reclaiming the top slot in the world rankings as of June.
K drew controversy in 2009 after Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Renho, seeking to cut budget outlays for the project, questioned if Japan needed to pursue the No. 1 position in supercomputing.