In a move to help the manufacturers in the country, Japan is planning to build the fastest-known supercomputer in the world. The purpose is to provide companies with a platform for research that could assist them in developing and improving robotics, driverless cars and robotics diagnostics. It is shown via a budget breakdown that approximately $173 million will be spent on the previously unreported project by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. This is part of the government’s policy to help the country get back to their old position in the world of technology. Japan has lost its edge in a number of electronic fields.
This is primarily due to increasing competition from China and South Korea, which are home to the current best-performing machine in the world. This move is probably going to push Japan to the top of the heap in supercomputers. Sources who are involved in the project said that the engineers working on it will have the objective of building a machine with a capability of making about 130 quadrillion calculations every second or in scientific terms, it should make about 130 petaflops. They need to make this machine as early as next year. If they succeed in reaching these speeds, the supercomputer Japan makes will be ahead of the Sunway Taihulight, which makes about 93 petaflops.
The computer will be built at the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science in Japan. One of its director general, Satoshi Sekiguchi said that nothing out there is currently this fast. The move to return the country to its mojo comes at a time when the nostalgia is growing about Japan’s heyday in terms of technological prowess. Their technological advancement has considerably dwindled since China became the second-biggest economy in the world. Shinzo Abe, the country’s Prime Minister, has called for bureaucrats, companies and the political class to closely work together so they can win in renewable energy, robotics, batteries and other growing markets.
As far as the supercomputing area is concerned, the country wishes to use ultra-fast calculations for quickening advances in AI (artificial intelligence) like ‘deep learning’ technology. This kind of technology resolves algorithms that mimic the neural pathways of the human brain and will help computers in analyzing piles of data and performing new tasks. There have been some advancements in this area recently. Google’s AlphaGo, its DeepMind Al program, was able to beat Lee Sedol, the South Korean professional, in the ancient game of Go in March.
Some of the applications of this technology include helping factories in improving automation or assisting companies in improving driverless vehicles by doing an analysis of huge amounts of visual traffic data. The Sunway Taihulight is used by China for pharmaceutical research, weather forecasting and industrial design, among other things. The new supercomputer could help Japan in tapping medical records for developing new services and applications. It will be made available to corporations for a fee, who are currently outsourcing their data crunching to firms like Google and Microsoft.