Riken’s Dr. Yutaka Ishikawa Tells the Fugaku Development Story

By Staff report

October 12, 2020

Fielding a leadership-class supercomputer doesn’t happen overnight or even in the span of a year; rather it is a multi-year undertaking. Development of the record-setting, Arm-based Riken-Fujitsu “Fugaku” system started in 2014 under Japan’s “Flagship 2020 project,” managed by Riken. As director of the Flagship 2020 project, Dr. Yutaka Ishikawa pioneered development of Fugaku (previously known as “post-K computer”).

In June 2020, Fugaku became the world’s number-one supercomputer, setting a new Top500 record with 415.5 Linpack petaflops of performance. Fugaku swept a number of other HPC benchmarks as well, and is one of the world’s most energy-efficient supercomputers (placing within the top ten of the Green500).

In this interview with HPCwire’s Tiffany Trader, Dr. Ishikawa shares Fugaku’s origin story, describing the project’s goals and how they were achieved, leading to a balanced supercomputing system that provides up to 100x speedup over the K-computer for target applications. Fugaku was put into service in June 2020, a year early to help with the fight against COVID-19.

Fugaku placed number one in four major HPC benchmarks (2020)

“Our goal was not to get the number one rankings on those benchmarks. Our goal is to provide the world’s highest-level supercomputing environment to a wide range of application fields. To do that we have taken a a co-design approach together with application developers,” said Dr. Ishikawa.

The work is guided by the Japanese proverb: onaji kama no meshi wo kuu. The literal translation is “to eat rice out of a shared pot,” roughly meaning to live under one roof.  To Dr. Ishikawa, the phrase signifies “working together, sharing the experiences, solving issues together and sharing in the successes.” This is how Dr. Ishikawa views the relationship between Riken and Fujitsu. “[Although] we are client and contractor, we run the project together, sharing the experience and happiness,” he said.

“The biggest challenge of the project,” said Dr. Ishikawa, “was the prediction of long-range hardware technologies.” The budget and the performance goal was determined in 2013, but availability of the expected technology, notably 10nm server silicon, was delayed, he said. Riken had to extend the deadline of the delivery, develop and acquire next-generation silicon technology with Fujitsu, and then work on shortening the delay as much as possible. The other challenge was supporting half-precision floating point operations, used for AI workloads, added Dr. Ishikawa.

Watch the full interview below:

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

PFAS Regulations, 3M Exit to Impact Two-Phase Cooling in HPC

January 27, 2023

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as “forever chemicals,” pose a number of health risks to humans, with more suspected but not yet confirmed – and, as a result, PFAS are coming under increasing regu Read more…

Sweden Plans Expansion for Nvidia-Powered Berzelius Supercomputer

January 26, 2023

The Atos-built, Nvidia SuperPod-based Berzelius supercomputer – housed in and operated by Sweden’s Linköping-based National Supercomputer Centre (NSC) – is already no slouch. But now, Nvidia and NSC have announced Read more…

Multiverse, Pasqal, and Crédit Agricole Tout Progress Using Quantum Computing in FS

January 26, 2023

Europe-based quantum computing pioneers Multiverse Computing and Pasqal, and global bank Crédit Agricole CIB today announced successful conclusion of a 1.5-year POC study “to evaluate the contribution of an algorithmi Read more…

Critics Don’t Want Politicians Deciding the Future of Semiconductors

January 26, 2023

The future of the semiconductor industry was partially being decided last week by a mix of politicians, policy hawks and chip industry executives jockeying for influence at the World Economic Forum. Intel CEO Pat Gels Read more…

Riken Plans ‘Virtual Fugaku’ on AWS

January 26, 2023

The development of a national flagship supercomputer aimed at exascale computing continues to be a heated competition, especially in the United States, the European Union, China, and Japan. What is the value to be gained Read more…

AWS Solution Channel

Shutterstock_1687123447

Numerix Scales HPC Workloads for Price and Risk Modeling Using AWS Batch

  • 180x improvement in analytics performance
  • Enhanced risk management
  • Decreased bottlenecks in analytics
  • Unlocked near-real-time analytics
  • Scaled financial analytics

Overview

Numerix, a financial technology company, needed to find a way to scale its high performance computing (HPC) solution as client portfolios ballooned in size. Read more…

Microsoft/NVIDIA Solution Channel

Shutterstock 1453953692

Microsoft and NVIDIA Experts Talk AI Infrastructure

As AI emerges as a crucial tool in so many sectors, it’s clear that the need for optimized AI infrastructure is growing. Going beyond just GPU-based clusters, cloud infrastructure that provides low-latency, high-bandwidth interconnects and high-performance storage can help organizations handle AI workloads more efficiently and produce faster results. Read more…

Supercomputer Research Predicts Extinction Cascade

January 25, 2023

The immediate impacts of climate change and land-use change are severe enough, but increasingly, researchers are warning that large enough changes can then snowball into catastrophic changes. New, supercomputer-powered r Read more…

PFAS Regulations, 3M Exit to Impact Two-Phase Cooling in HPC

January 27, 2023

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), known as “forever chemicals,” pose a number of health risks to humans, with more suspected but not yet confirmed Read more…

Critics Don’t Want Politicians Deciding the Future of Semiconductors

January 26, 2023

The future of the semiconductor industry was partially being decided last week by a mix of politicians, policy hawks and chip industry executives jockeying for Read more…

Riken Plans ‘Virtual Fugaku’ on AWS

January 26, 2023

The development of a national flagship supercomputer aimed at exascale computing continues to be a heated competition, especially in the United States, the Euro Read more…

Shutterstock 1134313550

Semiconductor Companies Create Building Block for Chiplet Design

January 24, 2023

Intel's CEO Pat Gelsinger last week made a grand proclamation that chips will be for the next few decades what oil and gas was to the world over the last 50 years. While that remains to be seen, two technology associations are joining hands to develop building blocks to stabilize the development of future chip designs. The goal of the standard is to set the stage for a thriving marketplace that fuels... Read more…

Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1572060865

Fujitsu Study Says Quantum Decryption Threat Still Distant

January 23, 2023

Global computer and chip manufacturer Fujitsu today reported that a new study performed on its 39-qubit quantum simulator suggests it will remain difficult for Read more…

At ORNL, Jeff Smith Becomes Interim Director, as Search for Permanent Lab Chief Continues

January 20, 2023

UT-Battelle, which manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the U.S. Department of Energy, has appointed Jeff Smith as interim director for the lab as t Read more…

Top HPC Players Creating New Security Architecture Amid Neglect

January 20, 2023

Security of high-performance computers is being neglected in the pursuit of horsepower, and there are concerns that the ignorance may be costly if safeguards ar Read more…

Ohio Supercomputer Center Debuts ‘Ascend’ GPU Cluster

January 19, 2023

Less than 10 months after it was announced, the Columbus-based Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) has debuted its Dell-built GPU cluster, “Ascend.” Designed to Read more…

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

SC22 Booth Videos

AMD @ SC22
Altair @ SC22
AWS @ SC22
Ayar Labs @ SC22
CoolIT @ SC22
Cornelis Networks @ SC22
DDN @ SC22
Dell Technologies @ SC22
HPE @ SC22
Intel @ SC22
Intelligent Light @ SC22
Lancium @ SC22
Lenovo @ SC22
Microsoft and NVIDIA @ SC22
One Stop Systems @ SC22
Penguin Solutions @ SC22
QCT @ SC22
Supermicro @ SC22
Tuxera @ SC22
Tyan Computer @ SC22
  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
HPCwire