Innovative Research Using the Flagship Supercomputer in Japan and Framework to Advance Computational Science and Technology
Head: Yoshinobu Kuramashi
HPCI Plan and Strategic Program Field 5
The innovative High Performance Computing Infrastructure (HPCI) plan, which was established with the “K computer” at the core, was created to actualize an innovative computational environment capable of meeting diverse users needs, and aimed at promoting the exploitation of HPCI. As major policy objectives, building an organization for promoting computational sciences in major fields (HPCI Strategic Program), and producing revolutionary results through the exploitation of HPCI are cited.
In the HPCI Strategic Program, which had been operated from FY2011 to FY2015, five potential fields were identified as strategic fields that not only required K computer resources, but also were expected to yield significant social and scholarly breakthroughs. “Field 5: The origin of matter and the Universe” was one of these. This field dealt with fundamental physics, primarily concerning elementary particles, the atomic nucleus, and astrophysics. The institution (strategic institution) that successfully led Field 5 research and development for five years was the Joint Institute for Computational Fundamental Science (JICFuS), which is a joint research organization combining the University of Tsukuba’s Center for Computational Sciences (CCS), the High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ). The K computer was shut down at the end of August, 2019.
Toward the New Supercomputer “Fugaku”
The post-K computer development plan under the FLAGSHIP 2020 Project, initiated by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2014, has set the target of developing (1) the next generation flagship supercomputer of Japan (the successor of the K computer) along with (2) a wide range of applications that will address top 9 priority social and scientific issues. “Priority Issue 9: Elucidation of the fundamental laws and evolution of the universe” led by the CCS, University of Tsukuba and 10 other institutions is essentially the successor of “Field 5: The origin of matter and the Universe” aiming at new developments. The CCS also joins “Priority Issue 7: Creation of new functional devices and high-performance materials to support next-generation industries (CDMSI)”. In addition to the priority issues, there are four exploratory challenges selected to be tackled using the post-K computer. The CCS joins two of them: “Exploratory Challenge 1: Frontiers of basic science: Challenging the limits” and “Exploratory Challenge 3: Elucidation of the birth of exoplanets (second earth) and the environmental variations of planets in the solar system”. In May 2019 the post-K computer was named “Fugaku”, which is another name of Mt. Fuji. The new supercomputer will be installed after disassembling the K computer. As a core institution of priority issues and exploratory challenges, the project office promotes the accomplishment of research and development targets.
(Update: Dec. 20, 2019)