S. Korea unveils state project to acquire independent technologies for supercomputer

By Lim Chang-won Posted : March 26, 2020, 10:57 Updated : March 26, 2020, 10:57

[Gettyimages Bank]

SEOUL -- South Korea unveiled a three-year project to develop independent technologies for a high-performance computing system, better known as a supercomputer, starting with the development of technologies for designing software and hardware for a central processing unit.

The project, which requires a state fund of some 46 billion ($37.4 million) won, will be led by the Ministry of Science and ICT this year through cooperation among companies, research groups and academic circles. Software and compute nodes used in high-performance, low-power CPU designs will be developed first.

Several compute nodes will be connected later to develop the prototype of a cluster system for parallel processing. To maximize the utilization of the CPU, the consortium will design supercomputer hardware and software technologies together from the beginning and expand it to the application sector.

The government set a goal of developing a prototype supercomputer CPU four years later for mass-production through follow-up research.

Supercomputers play an important role in the field of computational science and are used for a wide range of computationally intensive tasks in various fields. In the supercomputer field, South Korea falls far behind the United States, China and Japan.

South Korea’s largest high-performance computing system, Nurion, was put into operation in November 2018 at the state-run Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI) based in the central city of Daejeon. Nurion is based on a Cray CS500 cluster supercomputer.

The performance of a supercomputer is commonly measured in floating-point operations per second instead of million instructions per second. Since November 2017, all of the world's fastest 500 supercomputers run UNIX-based operating systems. Additional research is being conducted to build faster, more powerful and technologically superior exascale supercomputers.
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