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Fujitsu Supercomputer System to Commence Operation at the RIKEN SPring-8 Center

PRIMEHPC FX10 to accelerate analyses from SACLA X-ray free-electron laser

Fujitsu Limited

Tokyo, March 26, 2014

Fujitsu announced that it has completed building a supercomputer system ordered by the SPring-8 Center, a part of RIKEN, Japan's largest comprehensive research institution.

At the core of the new system is the FUJITSU Supercomputer PRIMEHPC FX10. Due to commence operation in April 2014, it will have a theoretical peak performance of 90.8 teraflops (TFLOPS) (1).

The RIKEN SPring-8 Center currently plans to use the K computer(2) to analyze the enormous volumes of data being generated by the SACLA X-ray free-electron laser(3), with the goal of understanding the structures and functions of nanomaterials.

The PRIMEHPC FX10 will be used to conduct preliminary analysis such as data screening prior to more detailed analysis by the K computer, as well as to develop analytical software in line with the characteristics of experimental data. This deployment is expected to improve the efficiency of data analysis performed with the K computer, thereby dramatically reducing the time needed for structural analyses of nanomaterials. It is also intended to help accelerate the generation of research results in the development of new materials and in the biotechnology field with potential industrial applications.

Background to Deployment of the New Supercomputer System

PRIMEHPC FX10PRIMEHPC FX10


SACLA uses the world's shortest-wavelength (0.06 nanometers) high-power X-ray laser beam with a 10-femtosecond (ten one-hundred-trillionths of a second) pulse to observe the ultrafast movements of atoms and molecules. This has revealed a world never seen before, showing the structures and characteristics of materials at the atomic and molecular levels.

SACLA generates enormous volumes of experimental data - as much as 100 terabytes (TB) per experiment - meaning detailed analyses require massive computing power, for which the K computer is expected to be used.


The PRIMEHPC FX10 is being deployed to conduct preliminary analysis before data is analyzed on the K computer. The PRIMEHPC FX10 is compatible with applications that run on the K computer, making it possible to use the PRIMEHPC FX10 for developing analytical software tailored to the experimental data's characteristics, and to conduct data screening for more detailed analysis by the K computer. This will dramatically shorten analysis times for nanomaterial structures. For example, the existing supercomputer system at SACLA took two weeks to perform analysis that classified two-dimensional patterns from over one million images captured by SACLA, but this is expected to take only four hours on the K computer.

Overview of the New Supercomputer System

The PRIMEHPC FX10 further improves on Fujitsu supercomputer technology employed in the K computer, with greater performance, improved scalability, higher reliability, and lower power usage. This PRIMEHPC FX10 system comprises four racks and 384 nodes with a theoretical peak performance of 90.8 TFLOPS. The system uses the Technical Computing Suite as its HPC middleware, and eleven FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX300 S8 units for login nodes and other ancillary functions. For storage, the system uses FUJITSU Storage ETERNUS DX80 S2 running FEFS(4) software for high-performance scalable file systems.

Key specifications of the new supercomputing system are as follows.

Composition of the New System
Computing nodes PRIMEHPC FX10
Racks 4
Computing nodes (CPUs) 384 (384)
Theoretical peak performance 90.8 TFLOPS
Total storage capacity 12 TB
Interconnect Tofu (6-dimensional mesh/torus)
Login nodes/management servers 11 PRIMERGY RX300 S8 units
Shared storage for management server 1 ETERNUS JX40 unit
Local file system 13 ETERNUS DX80 S2 units; 100 TB
Global file system 5 ETERNUS DX80 S2 units; 500 TB
File system FEFS

Future Prospects

By creating an efficient way for SACLA to work together with the K computer, it should become possible to provide Japanese industry with the world's most advanced research infrastructure. It is anticipated that the system will contribute to innovation in a range of fields, such as with the development of pharmaceuticals and new materials, fuel cells and ultra-large-scale integrated circuits.

With more than 30 years of experience building and supporting high-performance computers, Fujitsu is providing total support to RIKEN's R&D and analysis projects.

Comment from Makina Yabashi, Group Director, RIKEN SPring-8 Center

Following the inauguration of SACLA two years ago, we have been able to run a variety of experiments on SACLA, which combines a state-of-the-art accelerator and optical technologies. The high stability realized at SACLA has contributed to achieving the high hit rates to samples, which produces a much larger volume of data than initially expected. Our biggest challenge at present is quickly analyzing the vast quantities of data being produced every day. The PRIMEHPC FX10 will dramatically shorten analysis times, and by promoting the combined usage of the K computer and SACLA, two of the country's most advanced research platforms, we look forward to bringing about innovations across a wide range of disciplines and industries.


  • [1] Teraflops

    Tera (meaning "trillion") floating-point operations per second. A measure of computing performance.

  • [2] K computer

    The K computer, which was jointly developed by RIKEN and Fujitsu, is part of the High-Performance Computing Infrastructure (HPCI) initiative led by MEXT. It is a 10 petaflop-class supercomputer, and its availability for shared use began in September 2012.

  • [3] SACLA X-ray free-electron laser

    Japan's first XFEL facility constructed by RIKEN. As one of the five national technologies in the Basic Program for Science and Technology in Japan, the facility was constructed and developed in a five-year project starting from fiscal 2006. It was completed in March 2011 and named SACLA after the initial letters of SPring-8 Angstrom Compact Free Electron LAser. The first successful generation of an X-ray laser was achieved in June 2011. Operation for users started in March 2012. Since then, SACLA has been used in various experiments. Although the facility is smaller than those in other countries, SACLA can produce lasers with the world's shortest wavelength of 0.06 nm.

  • [4] FEFS

    Fujitsu Exabyte File System. A high-speed distributed file system that can be shared over as many as 100,000 nodes.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.4 trillion yen (US$47 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

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All company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

Date: 26 March, 2014
City: Tokyo
Company: Fujitsu Limited

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