ARM chips power world's fastest supercomputer: 7,299,072 CPU cores

The new ARM-based Fugaku supercomputer is 2.8x more powerful than the Summit supercomputer.

1 minute & 30 seconds read time

ARM is in the news for all the right reasons today, where first Apple announced plans that it would be transitioning away from Intel -- where it has been a partner for its processors for many years now, to ARM. The second, is that ARM chips now power the world's fastest supercomputer -- and that supercomputer, is insanely fast.

ARM chips power world's fastest supercomputer: 7,299,072 CPU cores 01

The new RIKEN Center for Computational Science's Fugaku supercomputer packs Fujitsu's new 48-core A64FX system-on-a-chip. It has 158,976 of these 48-core processors, meaning there is a mind boggling 7,299,072 processor cores powering the Fugaku supercomputer. Yeah, 7.29 million CPU cores -- you read that right.

This means the new Fugaku supercomputer is 2.8 times more powerful than the previous #1 supercomputer; Oak Ridge National Lab's Summit supercomputer. Summit has 2,414,592 processor cores with 148 petaflops of computer performance, compared to Fugaku and its game-changing ARM chips pumping out 415 petaflops.

The new Fugaku supercomputer took 6 years to develop, and cost over $1 billion to build. It has dived right up to the top of the world's fastest supercomputer list and absolutely dominated -- all without the help of dedicated GPUs. All of that 415 petaflops is coming directly from the SoCs.

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As for the A64FX chip, it is manufactured on TSMC's N7 process and packs 8.79 billion transistors.

Fugaku is quickly being put to work, where it will have its 415 petaflops of supercomputing power to go into coronavirus-related research according to The New York Times.

Random fact: Fugaku is another name for Mount Fuji -- the highest mountain in Japan, now Japan is home to the world's fastest supercomputer.

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The new Fugaku supercomputer takes a hell of amount of power to run, with 28 MegaWatts requried -- meanwhile, the Summit uses 10 MegaWatts of power. Fugaku is 2.8x as powerful, and consumes 2.8x as much power.

Another note: ARM-based supercomputers make up just 4 out of the 500 in the Top500 supercomputers in the world.

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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