The RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS) is one of the world’s leading research centers for high performance computing and the development of supercomputers, which have become essential tools for modern scientific development. In addition to operating the K computer and being charged with the project to develop the post-K computer, the center is one of the world's top-level research institutions for investigating “the science of computing,” or high performance computer science, “the science by computing,” or so-called computational science, and their synergy deriving “the science for computation.”
Present-day world leading supercomputers such as the K and post-K computers have hundreds of thousands to tens of millions of CPU cores, as well as enormous bandwidth for memory, networking, and I/O devices to allow data to be transferred, enabling tremendously rapid calculations. However, we do not have infinite resources to pour into supercomputers, so achieving a high level of power conservation, ultra-high reliability, and advanced programming and software to allow a broad range of users to make use of such systems while maintaining high performance is essential. Furthermore, in recent years new computing issues such as big data and AI have come to the forefront, and the acceleration and scaling up of tools in these areas have come into the spotlight. As part of the “computational science,” we will carry out research on the essence of high-performance computing, which is the foundation for various technologies that make them possible.
Supercomputers have become indispensable tools for modern scientific and technological development. Needless to say, they are used in fundamental research in areas such as cosmology, particle physics, and life science, and they are also used for the scientific prediction of global warming, damage due to earthquake and tsunami, prediction of concentrated torrential rain and typhoons, analysis of the human genome as a basis for gene therapy, drug design based on protein analysis, design of new devices and materials, automobile collision simulations, and jet engine design, all of which are directly linked to our daily lives and are indispensable for high-level cutting-edge R&D. As part of our work on "computational science," we will promote such research using the world's leading supercomputer such as the K and post K computers.
Currently, the K computer is being widely used for basic research conducted by R-CCS and other research institutes as well as in applied research by industry, and has been put to work in various fields designated by the government. Many outstanding results have been achieved by its users. In addition, the system has been used for fruitful collaborative research with private industry, and efforts are being made to commercialize the results. Furthermore, the development project for the post-K computer, which is slated to succeed the K computer, is proceeding smoothly, with the goal being full-scale operation from around 2020. We will further expanded our cooperation with researchers at various institutions, universities and companies in Japan and abroad to gain recognition as a leading global research center where computer science and computational science are being developed in tandem. We will continue to create new value as we strengthen our position as a base for knowledge for international computational science.