Japan’s Electronic Culture – Number One Super Computer


Once again, in keeping with Japan’s electronic culture, it has claimed the number one spot for creating a super computer. The computer, called the “Kei(京) Computer,” was unveiled earlier this month in Kobe at the RIKEN Advanced Institution for Computational Science (AICS).Not only is it the fastest computer in the world, but is also perhaps the most energy efficient on the top ten list of super computers. The computer itself has a CPU capable of 8.162 petaflops per second, faster than the next five super computers in the top ten list (about 1 million desktop computers worth of power!). When fully completed, the computer will be able to predict the impact of natural disasters, such as from earthquakes and tsunamis and may even have the capability of furthering understanding of climate change. The computer cost approximately 112 billion yen to develop and will be fully completed by 2012. However, not everyone was supportive of the super computer’s funding and achievement. Renho, a member of the Japanese parliament, questioned the computer’s funding and goal to be number one in the world, asking why must it be in first place, is second place not good enough? And with that, she tried to block funding in 2009, especially since Japan suffers from an economic recession. Japan’s number one spot may be short lived, since an IBM team in the U.S. is developing a super computer that can process more than 10 petaflops per second.

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