Japan has always been first in the technology world. As times begin to change, the world has crept into the digital age where industrial labor has started to become less humane. The nation of Japan hopes to launch itself even further into the future by building the world fastest supercomputer which, for now, is named ABCI (AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure).
The resulting machine will achieve 130 petaflops which would surpass China’s Sunway TaihuLight, which runs at 93 petaflops. It is even rumored that Japanese officials will spend at least $173 million on the ABCI project.
Although the hope of this new supercomputer is steering toward 2018, Japan has been having a rough time getting started. Recently its economic and workforce issues have put it behind South Korea and China who have been beating Japan in the distribution of consumer electronics. The development of a new supercomputer would put Japan back on the right path. It has been four years since Japan had a boast-worthy supercomputer. Back in 2011, Japan’s Fujitsu’s K Computer beat out other supercomputers with a whopping 10.5 petaflops, setting world records.
Japan has decided to let multiple companies bid for the rights to build the supercomputer. It has been rumored that the highest bidder will be announced as the winner on December 8th. The machine is estimated to be online by 2018. Once the supercomputer is fully operational, Japan has plans to lease out use of the machine for a small fee to companies who use Microsoft, Google, and others. According to Reuters, Fujitsu Ltd, a Japanese company responsible for building the fastest supercomputer, has yet to say if it would be one of the companies in on the bidding.
As the world begins its transition into a digital future, countries like Japan are doing everything they can to stay on the ball. Whether their efforts are in vain, only time will be able to tell.