Working together under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology's (MEXT) high-performance computing infrastructure (HPCI) initiative, Fujitsu and RIKEN developed the K computer with the goal of completing operational testing by the end of June 2012. The K computer brings together leading-edge technologies, including ultrafast and energy-efficient CPUs and a network capable of an immense amount of interconnectivity for high-performance and exceptional reliability. Installation of the supercomputer began in September 2010, and by the end of August 2011 all 864 racks had been delivered and installed.
In the TOP500 ranking of the world's fastest supercomputers, the K computer ranked first for two consecutive reporting periods, June 2011 and November 2011, also winning top honours in all four divisions of the HPC Challenge, and taking home the Gordon Bell award, as proof of its performance in real-world applications.
The K computer is a general-purpose supercomputer designed to offer high computing performance with support for a broad range of applications, making it useful to engineers and researchers in Japan and around the world. The process of installing and tuning the operating system, job manager, parallelization library, and other system software for the large-scale system environment was undertaken in Autumn 2011. At the same time, part of the K computer was made available as a testing environment to researchers participating in Grand Challenge application software development project and HPCI strategic programmes, intended to quickly produce groundbreaking results in fields designated by the Japanese government as having strategic importance.
With the installation of the K computer's system software to maximize the system's usability and hardware performance, the K computer has completed its final operational testing.
The K computer represents a dramatic leap forward in terms of simulation precision and calculation speed. It can be applied to a variety of fields that use computational science, and holds the promise of contributing to world-class breakthroughs, such as: