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the Earth Simulator Upgrade and Future Plans

September 25, 2020

 The Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) decided to upgrade its main supercomputer system, "the Earth Simulator", and will make the new system operational in March 2021. The new system will be a multi-architecture supercomputer with more than ten times the scale of the current system in terms of both the entire system's theoretical peak operating performance and total storage capacity (see the comparison chart below).
 JAMSTEC decided to adopt the system proposed by NEC Corporation. It is a multi-architecture system based on AMD EPYC CPUs, combined with accelerators such as NEC’s SX-Aurora TSUBASA and NVIDIA's GPU A100.The combination of a vector processor with a highly general-purpose CPU, high effective performance, and software assets developed through the years on the Earth Simulator and a GPU, which is useful for AI research, will lead both further development of conventional research and implementation of new research projects such as AI research.
 JAMSTEC plans to invite applications for using the next Earth Simulator in early 2021. The guidelines and technical information will be released on the web as they become available.

*1 Petaflops: A unit for expressing the processing performance of a computer, a unit for performing 1,000 trillion floating-point operations per second, abbreviated as PF.

*2 Petabyte (petabyte): A unit for expressing the amount of data and the size of a computer's storage device, abbreviated as PB.
One petabyte is 250 = 1,125,899,906,842,624 (approximately 1,125 trillion) bytes = 1,048,576 gigabytes (gigabyte: GB).

the Earth Simulator
(Current)
the Earth Simulator
(Next)
Ratio
Theoretical Peak Performance1.31 Petaflops19.5 Petaflopsx14.9
Main Storage Capacity4.8 Petabyte61.4 Petabytex12.8
Processorvector processor
(with pipelined execution units, configured to use as much of their computing power as possible)
AMD EPYC CPU
(It is highly versatile and can be used for a wide range of open software and commercial software)
AcceleratorNoneVector processor
(can utilize the software assets developed by the Earth Simulator)
GPU
(Useful for AI research, etc.)
Feature single-architecture system composed of vector computer multi-architecture system
(Based on AMD EPYC CPU, combined with accelerators such as NEC's SX-Aurora TSUBASA and NVIDIA's GPU A100)