back to article Fujitsu's billion-dollar ARM supercomputer delayed by up to 2 years

Fujitsu's monster ARM-powered supercomputer, the Post-K, will miss its 2020 deadline. The $910m project has stalled because its engineers need more time to design, test and perfect the machine's processors, we can confirm. Fujitsu was hired by Japan's boffinry nerve-center RIKEN to produce a roughly 1,000 peta-FLOPS …

  1. J J Carter Silver badge
    Trollface

    Bampots

    Surely everyone knows climate change is a fraud initiated by Democrats and leftwits!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bampots

      Climate change modelling. It's caused by CO2 and methane, due to burning fossil fuel and cattle farming.

      There you go. I just hit the deadline 4 years early and it cost less than 1 billion dollars.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Bampots

        Go back to your talk show!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: Bampots

      Rubbish!!

      Climate change is caused by all the heat generated by these supercomputers running climate change models!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bampots

        Did you know Climate Change is actually racist? (As are Harambe jokes, apparently)

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Delay ... but so what!!

    Only in Management Land can one both work on the bleeding edge and still be on-time and on-budget. Because the bleeding edge can just be looked up in books, right, how hard can it be.

    These programs are "industrial policy" anyway - get new researchers into the field, keep the knowledge alive, build the bases to attack the next problem earlier than the country next door. The money will flow (even it it has to be printed). It's all in good fun.

    (Anybody remember the "Strategic Defense Initiative"? It started off with the idea of building Intelligent Machines (always good for Cold War machism), then when it became clear that that was kinda out there, quickly veered into supercomputing and integrated communications. Success!)

    1. Hi Wreck

      Re: Delay ... but so what!!

      Have an up vote. I always thought that the Strategic Defense Initiative was always know to be impractical, but rathe a ploy to bankrupt the then USSR in a mad dash arms race.

    2. Hi Wreck
      Big Brother

      Re: Delay ... but so what!!

      Have an up vote. I always thought that the Strategic Defense Initiative was always know to be impractical, but rathe a ploy to bankrupt the then USSR in a mad dash arms race.

  3. James Hughes 1

    Hmmm

    It's a wild guess, but I'd go with the move to 10nm and FINFET as the problem. That's bleeding edge stuff for the ARM architecture. Adding the new vector stuff would be much easier.

    1. theblackhand

      Re: Hmmm

      Not sure the issue will be with the process side of things. Supposedly, Apple already has 10nm products from TSMC. We might even see them announced later today...

      Note that TSMC may or may not be actual 10nm - their 16nm was 20nm with FinFET gains to approximate 16nm (http://www.tsmc.com/english/dedicatedFoundry/technology/16nm.htm). In which case it may be a 14nm SoC base process with FinFET giving equivalent performance to 10nm in comparison to the 14nm SoC base process.

      Which leaves the issue being Fujitsu's chip design... And most likely the performance they can extract from it at present.

      1. Roo
        Windows

        Re: Hmmm

        "Not sure the issue will be with the process side of things. Supposedly, Apple already has 10nm products from TSMC. We might even see them announced later today..."

        In which case it's possible that Apple are Bogarting the 10nm capacity, and Apple could well have bought out Fujitsu's slice of the pie to cover their own yield shortfall... ;)

  4. John Savard Silver badge

    Unfortunate

    It certainly is true that when one is trying to achieve things on the edge of what is possible, there are going to be unforeseen delays. I hope that everything goes right, and it gets out the door, working perfectly, as soon as possible, though, so as to encourage the adoption of instructions for processing longer vectors elsewhere, not just in a select subset of supercomputers. If this kind of vector processing were used by gamers, then it would be available even for COTS-based supercomputing as well, a very good positive feedback loop.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Project 2020

    can't they just put 2020 cores in it, and keep name? And if it needs more than 2020 to do the work, call it "2020 cores PLUS" ;-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Project 2020

      Do you work in PR? If so get out. This is a local shop for local people. We don't want the likes of you around here. Burn him.

  6. JassMan Silver badge
    Joke

    They missed a use for the new beast

    "The Post-K system will be used to model climate change, predict disasters, develop drugs and fuels, and run other scientific simulations."

    Being 8 times faster than the world's current leader, it is obviously intended to become the world's first piece of sentient silicon. Welcome your new master.

  7. Herby Silver badge

    For a much smaller budget...

    I could make up a super computer by connecting together a BUNCH (10k or so) Raspberry Pi's and calling it a "super computer". Even with all the wires and power supplies, it would be less than $1,000,000 pretty easily.

    It IS ARM, and available TODAY!

    Now to get it programmed correctly...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For a much smaller budget...

      http://hackaday.com/2016/05/26/raspberry-pi-cluster-build-shows-how-and-what/

    2. theblackhand

      Re: For a much smaller budget...

      You can call your bunch of ARM processors a supercomputer, but whether they can be used for much will be down to how well you can distribute tasks across them which will come down to I/O and memory bandwidth. I mean, what point is having 10,000 or more CPU's available to you if the first 100 or so have finished the tasks you have distributed to them before the last 5000 or so processors have received any work?

      You can break the bunch of processors down into nodes, but you can do that with other processors too.

      I suspect, the advantage of Fujitsu's ARM's won't so much be in the ARM core as the offload processors that accompany it which is why they can't use off-the-shelf products. Potentially what Fujitsu need is the next die shrink to get the performance they need from each SoC to make this project worthwhile...

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