Feeds

Japan gov poised to cancel 10 petaflops Keisoku super

Fujitsu has to do some financial jujitsu

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

SC09 Rumours were circulating around late last week ahead of the SC09 supercomputing trade show in Portland, Oregon, that the Japanese government might severely curtail its funding of HPC projects. This comes after a panel of axe-wielding government bureaucrats charged with removing waste from the Japanese government budget recommended cancelling.

This could deal a substantial blow to server and chip maker Fujitsu, which had secured the entire 10 petaflops Project Keisoku supercomputer deal all to itself. NEC and Hitachi backed out of the $1.2bn project earlier this year.

With Project Keisoku, the Japanese government wanted to forge a hybrid vector-scalar machine that scaled to 10 petaflops. NEC and Hitachi were to co-design a new vector engine and system, but only got as far as completing a prototype and only received the funding for that portion of their work. Fujitsu was commissioned to create Sparc engines to do the scalar work.

In May - just as Fujitsu was talking up its "Venus" eight-core Sparc64-VIIIfx processor, which was to be used in the scalar part of the machine - NEC and Hitachi said there was too much red ink for them to cope with to manufacture the Keisuko super and walked away from the contract. The Japanese government mulled this for a bit, then decided that it would build a massively parallel and scalar Sparc box with Fujitsu alone.

This made Fujitsu's top brass pretty ebullient. At the same time, the Japan Atomic Energy Agency said it would build a 200 teraflops cluster, based on Intel's 'Nehalem EP' Xeon 5500 processors, as embodied in Fujitsu's Dynamic Cube blade servers. It also would get two Sparc-based clusters that were to be the foundations for the Keisuko software development effort. The Sparc machines consisted of a 1.92 teraflops Sparc Enterprise M9000 and a 320-node cluster of single-core FX1 servers rated at 12 teraflops; both presumably run Solaris.

The Project Keisoku 10 petaflops machine was to be installed at the Rikagaku Kenkyusho (Riken) research lab in Kobe, Japan, and was supposed to be operational in early 2012. If the Japanese government does cancel the Keisuko project, the 200 teraflops machine that the JAEA is acquiring will be the most powerful box in the country.

According to a report in Computerworld, the Government Revitalization Unit - which was formed by the recently elected Democratic Party of Japan government - took only an hour to come to the conclusion that the Keisoku super to be installed at Riken should be nixed. This is despite the serious cash that has already been spent on its development.

Now the Fujitsu lobbyists have a more difficult task than building a 10 petaflops supercomputer: convincing a government that is trying to slash budget expenditures to do so elsewhere. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.