Wednesday, March 22, 2023
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Japan launches supercomputer to predict storms 12 hours ahead


Japan launches supercomputer to predict storms 12 hours ahead

The Fujitsu-powered machine will allow residents to prepare for floods in advance.

In Japan will be launched new supercomputer for forecasting powerful and destructive storms. The decision comes after the Japanese government instructed the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) to create a more effective storm forecasting system so that the public and businesses have more time to respond.

The need for a forecast is caused by linear rain bands that have become more frequent over the past few years and have become stronger and more destructive. Rain bands are slow moving or nearly stationary cumulonimbus clouds that remain for hours over the same area, often shedding the heavy rain they have collected and causing landslides and floods. The idea of ​​experts is to provide a forecast of such events 6-12 hours before they happen.

Using the “Fugaku” supercomputer, researchers from JMA and RIKEN HPC have been working since June 2022 on a model that can predict the formation and duration of linear bands. The new supercomputer is powered by the Fujitsu A64FX high performance computing processor and is based on the Fujitsu PrimeHPC FX1000 line of supercomputers.

The yet-to-be-named peak theoretical performance of the system will be 31.1 Petaflops and will consist of 24 racks of PrimeHPC FX1000 systems. This system will go live on March 1 and has a 42.3 Petabyte parallel file system.

The Fugaku system consists of over 400 racks of Fujitsu A64FX server nodes and has a peak theoretical performance of 537 Petaflops (double precision floating point). It is important to note that the A64FX single processor compute nodes are equipped with 32 GB of HBM2 memory providing 1 TB/s of memory bandwidth, which dramatically improves compute performance – assuming the data fits in 32 GB of memory.

The new 24-rack system is housed in the Fujitsu data center because the center has redundant power to help protect the machine from power outages during earthquakes or floods.

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