RIKEN Center for Computational Science

Kcomputer 京について

Research Highlights

The K computer is being used in a broad range of fields including drug discovery, earthquake/tsunami research, weather forecasting, space science, manufacturing and material development.
Here are some examples of scientific results using the K computer.

You can find the most recent list of research achievements in "Press Release" and "Topics".

You can search some of the published achievements of researches using the HPCI system including the K computer on the HPCI Publication Database.

*HPCI(High Performance Computing Infrastructure)

2014.05.22 update

A highly precise simulation of flow made possible by the K computer
Allows highly accurate grasp of effect of vortices around a car on comfort, handling, and noise

There are enormous numbers of small vortices in the flows of water or air around cars and ships in motion. The K computer makes it possible to simulate tiny vortices under 1mm in size. Such simulation possesses the same level of accuracy as wind-tunnel or water-tunnel tests and makes it possible to evaluate influence of the vortices in the flow on riding comfort, handling, and noise without making major investments into large-scale experimental equipment. This will also contribute to shortening the development time for cars and ships.

2014.05.22 update

Development of tire materials using large-scale simulation on the K computer
Targeting an optimal combination of vehicle safety, low resource use, and high fuel-efficiency

A difficult issue in tire development is to try to enhance the essential functionalities (safety/braking performance and tire lifetime with rubber strength) while simultaneously reducing rolling resistance, which is essential for reducing fuel use. The interior of a tire is a complex structure made up of molecules of different sizes, and the K computer can be used to simulate their movements and the performance. This will be used in the future for the development of high-performance rubber materials.

2014.05.22 update

Increasing the efficiency of drug development using computer analysis and prediction
Reducing the time required for calculations from approximately two years to 5 hours and 45 minutes using the K computer

Drug discovery involves identifying a protein related to a disease and then finding a new molecule that binds to that protein. Unfortunately, it is impossible to conduct laboratory tests on a vast number of candidate molecules to determine whether they will bind with the protein, so in many cases success depends on the intuition, experience, and luck of the researcher, with a success rate that is said to be just 1 in 20,000. In a recent experiment, the K computer was used to screen nearly 20 billion combinations of compounds and proteins in just 5 hours and 45 minutes. An ordinary computer would take two years to carry out this enormous task. Efficiently predicting the effects of drugs will make development more successful, shortening the time required to move a compound into the clinic and reducing costs.

2014.04.01 update

Development of new materials for solving our energy problems 
Supporting research on batteries and methane hydrate

The demand for batteries is rapidly growing. The K computer is being used to evaluate the performance of electrode materials and electrolytes, which are critical for battery performance, and to help in the search for optimal combinations. Further, the K computer is being used in research on methane hydrate, a substance created when methane (a natural gas) combines with water, which is believed to exist in abundance in waters around Japan and has been touted as a next-generation source of clean energy. The K computer was used to perform large-scale simulations, by helping find ways to extract methane in an efficient way. In this way, the K computer is contributing to the creation of new materials that will lead to new energy sources and lower energy consumption, by elucidating new functions of materials and forecasting various effects on the environment.