Fujitsu Gets First Order for PrimeHPC FX10 Supercomputer

The Fujitsu system will give a supercomputing center in Japan a peak performance of 1.13 petaflops when it begins operating in 2012.

Fujitsu officials, a week after unveiling their commercial PrimeHPC FX10 supercomputer, are saying that the company has now received its first order for the massive system.

Fujitsu announced Nov. 14 that the Supercomputing Division of Information Technology Center for the University of Tokyo (SCD/ITC) has ordered the PrimeHPC FX10, a system comprising primarily all Fujitsu technology that officials said will have a theoretical peak performance of 1.13 petaflops (quadrillion floating point operations per second).

The supercomputer, which will begin operations in April 2012, will be used for a variety of workloads at the university, both in education and research. In addition, corporations also will have access to the system. The 46-year-old supercomputing institution is used by more than 1,500 researchers who come inside and outside the university.

Fujitsu put Japan back at the top of the supercomputer world in June, when its K Computer reached No. 1 on the Top500 list of the world's most powerful systems. The K Computer, a one-time supercomputer operating at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, was the first Japanese system to top the list since Fujitsu's Earth Simulator was dethroned in 2004. The K Computer has a peak performance of more than 8.1 petaflops.

Now Fujitsu officials are looking to leverage what they learned with the K Computer to create the PrimeHPC FX10, which they plan to sell commercially. The company expects to sell about 50 of the systems over the next three years both in Japan and in other regions, starting with the supercomputer heading to the SCD/ITC.

The supercomputer will combine high performance and scalability with significant energy efficiency, according to Fujitsu.

The system, which the company says will be able to reach a theoretical peak performance of 23.3 petaflops, is made up of Fujitsu technology, including its newest SPARC64 chip, the 16-core SPARC64 IXfx, an unusual occurrence in a field dominated by systems powered by x86-based chips from the likes of Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

The PrimeHPC FX10 also includes Fujitsu's Tofu interconnect technology that offers high memory, bandwidth and scalability, the company's own Technical Computing Suite of high-performance computing (HPC) middleware and VisImpact technology, which enables users to create a hybrid parallel programming model that combines threads with Message Passing Interface.

The supercomputer at the SCD/ITC will comprise 4,800 computing nodes over 50 racks, 74 Fujitsu Primergy servers and 234 Fujitsu Eternus storage systems. It will have a memory capacity of 150 terabytes.