RIKEN is Japan’s largest comprehensive research institution. It is known for its high-quality research in a diverse range of scientific disciplines. Founded in 1917 as a private research foundation in Tokyo, RIKEN has grown rapidly in size and scope. Today it encompasses a network of world-class research centers and institutes across Japan that comprises a vast range of research areas, including ...health, brain, and life sciences, accelerator science, physical sciences, and computational science, among others.
With the advances in research and technology, RIKEN needed to support more large-scale and medium-scale computation-intensive workloads across the sciences in which RIKEN researchers work, including quantum chromodynamics (QCD), condensed matter physics, quantum chemistry, and biophysics. Researchers run a wide range of commercially available software from ISVs, open source software, and their own, internally developed codes.
In 2015, RIKEN’s Advanced Center for Computation and Communication (ACCC) introduced HOKUSAI, a next-generation supercomputing cluster built in two stages. HOKUSAI’s first implementation, placed in production in 2015, was called GreatWave. It included a 1.0 petaFLOPS general-purpose system built on the Fujitsu PRIMEHPC FX100 platform, which has K computer compatibility and is suited for highly parallelized calculations. GreatWave also provided large memory nodes running Intel® Xeon® processors and Nvidia* GPUs. In 2017, a second, general-purpose computing cluster was added named BigWaterfall to accommodate a growing demand for higher performance in supercomputing.
Overall, the new system delivers 2.6X more performance and twice the memory capacity for bio-informatics, genomics, and engineering workloads, enabling RIKEN to accelerate their engineering research and projects. With BigWaterfall, Riken is able to run many types of workloads—memory-intensive, IO intensive, and compute-intensive—because of its Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (Intel® AVX-512) and high-bandwidth memory support.
RIKEN, one of Japan’s oldest and most advanced research institutions, continues to carry out its groundbreaking and innovative research across many scientific disciplines using the latest generation of supercomputing technologies. BigWaterfall, part of RIKEN’s latest-generation, HOKUSAI supercomputer and built on Intel® Xeon® Gold processors 6148, delivers 2.6X more performance and twice the memory capacity of its older system.