Was the K Super Worth the Price Tag for Japan?

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At number one on the TOP500, the Fujitsu K supercomputer is truly an awesome engineering achievement. Faster than the next eight machines on the list combined, the Sparc-powered K remains top dog.

Now legislators in Japan are questioning whether the $1.12 Billion investment in K was really worth it for a country in the midst of severe austerity in the wake of recent natural disasters. The Japan Times reports that the reaction has been to make the supercomputer much more accessible.

The science and technology ministry’s Hayashi expressed hope that the networked system will help increase the number of supercomputer users in Japan from the current 1,000 to 20,000. If it doesn’t, though, the K computer — which, on top of the ¥112 billion already poured into its development, also costs ¥10 billion a year to operate and maintain — would end up being an embarrassing national white elephant of financially petaflopic proportions.

Petaflopic proportions?” That’s a new one! Read the Full Story.


  1. […] insideHPC is reporting that legislators in Japan are questioning the benefit of spending 112 billion Yen (about $1.4 billion U.S. dollars) for its K supercomputer, the world’s number 1 fastest system according to the Top500 list. […]