Japan looks to create a superfast supercomputer for deep learning

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Japan is reportedly eyeing a return to the top of the supercomputer ranks. The county’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to spend 19.5 billion yen ($173 million) on a new supercomputer, according to budget filings reported by Reuters, with aims of developing a machine capable of 130 petaflops.

That number would put the company in the top spot, moving the AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure ahead of Sunway Taihulight, the supercomputer unveiled by China over the summer capable of 93 petaflops. The Ministry already has some fairly big plans for the previously unannounced supercomputer, utilizing its record-breaking speeds to help the country develop advances in AI technologies like deep learning.

Also on the list (at 130 quadrillion calculations per second, the thing would be fairly adept at multi-tasking) are gains in autonomous vehicle development, medicine and robotics. According to the report, the planned computer would be licensed to domestic corporations for a fee.

The Ministry’s not doing much talking about the computer at this early stage, but a director from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, where the planned system would be constructed says, “as far as we know, there is nothing out there that is as fast.” Fujitsu’s Oakforest-PACS was certified as the country’s fastest computer earlier this month, capable of 13.6 petaflops.

Featured Image: Fujitsu's previously announced PRIMEHPC FX10 supercomputer.