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Japan’s K supercomputer shuts down

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TOKYO >> The Japan-made K supercomputer, one of the world’s top supercomputers, which has been in operation for eight years at the RIKEN Center for Computational Science in Kobe, ended its run last month.

A more sophisticated successor, called Fugaku, will be installed at the site, with full-scale operation scheduled to begin around 2021.

K was jointly developed by RIKEN and Fujitsu Ltd. In 2011, it achieved a speed exceeding 10 quadrillion calculations per second and became the world’s fastest supercomputer.

The system began full-scale operations in September 2012 and has been used in a wide range of calculations for everything from drug discoveries to weather forecasting to materials development.

According to RIKEN, more than 2,500 Japanese and foreign researchers have used the system and achieved many fruitful results.

But supercomputer development continued, and Fugaku has a calculation performance of about 100 times that of K.

K’s final computations were finished on Aug. 30 and its power supply was turned off. The task of dismantling and removal is in progress.

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