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Japan’s Fugaku, an Arm based supercomputer gains title as the world’s fastest supercomputer

An Arm based supercomputer takes the number one spot on the Top500 list for the first time.

What’s the skinny? yesterday (June, 22 2020), Japan’s Fugaku supercomputer takes the crown, winning the top spot on the Top500 list with its 48-core Arm processors. Arm was also in the news yesterday as Apple announced it was dropping Intel in favor of Arm based processors going forward. Fugaku makes history as it is the only supercomputer to take the number one spot on Top500, HPCG, and Graph 500 simultaneously.

To achieve this with an Arm based system is pretty impressive since historically supercomputers have been built around Intel or AMD processors. There currently is only 4 Arm based supercomputers on the top 500 list.

Node specifications

ArchitectureArmv8.2-A SVE 512 bit
With the following Fujitsu’s extensions: Hardware barrier, Sector cache, and Prefetch
Number of computational cores48 cores
Number of assistant coresComputational node: 2 cores
I/O and computational node: 4 cores
PerformanceNormal Mode: 2.0 GHzDP: 3.072 TFLOPS, SP: 6.144 TFLOPS, HP: 12.288 TFLOPS
Boost Mode: 2.2 GHzDP: 3.3792 TFLOPS, SP: 6.7584 TFLOPS, HP: 13.5168 TFLOPS
Cache (Notes:1) (Notes:2)L1D/core: 64 KiB, 4way, 256 GB/s (load), 128 GB/s (store)
L2/CMG: 8 MiB, 16way
L2/node: 4 TB/s (load), 2 TB/s (store)
L2/core: 128 GB/s (load), 64 GB/s (store)
MemoryHBM2 32 GiB, 1024 GB/s
InterconnectTofu Interconnect D (28 Gbps x 2 lane x 10 port)
I/OPCIe Gen3 x16
Technology7nm FinFET
Photo Credit: Fujitsu

Fugaku achieved a LINKPACK score of 415.53 petaflops using 152,064 of these nodes and when fully completed the Fugaku supercomputer will have 158,976 nodes. Using its current amount of nodes Japan’s supercomputer was roughly 2.8 times faster than its closest competitor Summit, which is the U.S department of energy’s supercomputer.

Installed at the RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) in Kobe, Japan, Fugaku is billed as Japan’s next generation supercomputer that will carry out a wide variety of tasks. It will be put to use in tasks such as drug discovery, personalized and preventive medicine, simulations of natural disasters, weather and climate forecasting, energy creation, storage, and use, development of clean energy, new material development, new design and production processes; and—as a purely scientific endeavor—elucidation of the fundamental laws and evolution of the universe. It is currently being used on an experimental basis in the fight against COVID-19 and is scheduled to be fully operational in the first half of 2021.

Charles Levere
Charles Levere is the editor-in-chief (dork-in-chief) of Urban Dork. When he is not writing, or tinkering with hardware, he is most likely playing one of his favorite video games. He also loves being near the water, kayaking, water skiing or anything that gets him on the water and in the sun.


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