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  7. Fujitsu Receives Order for World's Fastest Linux Cluster System from Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research

Fujitsu Receives Order for World's Fastest Linux Cluster System from Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research

Fujitsu Limited

Tokyo, July 31, 2003

Fujitsu Limited today announced that the company has received an order from Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, known as Riken, for a supercomputing-grade cluster of Linux™ computers with a total of 2,048 CPUs capable of achieving 12.4 teraflops(1) of computing performance. This system will be a model for the next generation of large-scale computing centers, based on Linux, grid computing, and other advanced technologies. It is scheduled to be operational by March 2004.

The new system will be used mainly for bioinformatics applications. In recent years the field of biotechnology has seen an explosion in the volumes of data to process. Compared to the most advanced systems currently used for homology searches(2) of genome sequences, or for analyzing the structures and functions of proteins, the new system is expected to achieve a seven-fold performance increase.

With the growing popularity of Linux and the increasing power of personal computers, PC-based cluster systems have become an attractive option for high-performance computing, especially in academic and research institutions, as performance is scalable by simply increasing the number of processors. Cluster systems make up a quarter of the 500 fastest computing systems in the world today.

But because of the technological sophistication required for employing cluster systems, to date the application of such systems has been limited to individual departments or projects.

The system ordered by Riken will make use of grid computing and other advanced technologies, and will form the basis of a next-generation large-scale computing center that can be used by anyone at Riken's dispersed research facilities such as its central lab, or labs in Yokohama, Kobe, and Harima. Furthermore, the system will be linked as a computing node to the Information Technology Based Laboratory (ITBL)(3) being sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), and it is expected that all institutions participating in ITBL will be able to share computing resources. The system is expected to serve as a model that will spur private-sector uptake of PC cluster systems.

In realizing this high-availability, high performance parallel computing environment, Fujitsu incorporated a number of technologies such as compiler and job control functions, which were developed for its VPP(4) systems; high-speed InfiniBand™ (5) interconnect in addition to grid computing applications.

  • [1] teraflops

    (tflops) One trillion floating-point operations per second. A measure of computing performance.

  • [2] homology searches

    A search of a genetic-information database for similar genetic sequences, based on biological similarity. Often used to determine the structure and function of new and unknown genetic sequences.

  • [3] Information Technology Based Laboratory (ITBL)

    A project begun in 2001 by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to use information technology to create a "virtual lab" connecting multiple institutions. Currently includes six institutions: Riken, the Japan Atomic Energy Institute (JAERI), National Institute for Material Sciences (NIMS), National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (NAL), National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED), and the Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST).

  • [4] VPP

    Vector processors in parallel A supercomputer consisting of vector processors connected in parallel by high-speed interconnects.

  • [5] InfiniBand™

    A high-speed (8 Gbps) interface specification for communications among multiple computers or between computers and peripheral equipment. Fujitsu demonstrated the world's first Infiniband-connected cluster system in October 2001. By developing InfiniBand drivers optimized for SCore cluster systems, Fujitsu was able to make high-performance PC clusters a reality.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is a leading provider of customer-focused IT and communications solutions for the global marketplace. Pace-setting technologies, highly reliable computing and telecommunications platforms, and a worldwide corps of systems and services experts uniquely position Fujitsu to deliver comprehensive solutions that open up infinite possibilities for its customers' success. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.6 trillion yen (US$38 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2003.  
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Press Release ID: 2003-0148E
Date: 31 July, 2003
City: Tokyo
Company: Fujitsu Limited, , , , ,