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Predicting tsunamis with the world’s fastest supercomputer

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    Science & Technology
  • Published
    26th Feb, 2021


Japan’s Fujitsu Laboratories has developed an AI model to predict tsunami flooding in coastal areas in real-time. The technology company used Fugaku, the world’s fastest supercomputer, to develop the model.

About the AI model

  • The team of researchers generated training data for 20,000 possible tsunami scenarios based on high-resolution tsunami simulations, using the supercomputer.
  • They created the AI model using these data sets.
  • In the event of an earthquake by using the data of tsunami observed offshore helps predict flooding in coastal areas before the wave makes landfall.

Significance of the model

  • This will make it possible to accurately and rapidly obtain flooding forecasts for specific areas.
  • The system is also said to make evacuation measures more efficient.
  • The model can also be run in seconds on ordinary PCs, making it easier to build practical, real-time systems, which previously required supercomputers.

About Fugaku supercomputer

  • The Fugaku supercomputer was developed in Japan in 2014 at the RIKEN Center for Computational Science.
  • The supercomputer was termed the world’s fastest in June 2020 in the TOP500project which ranks and details the 500 most powerful non-distributed computer systems in the world according to their LINPACK benchmark results.
  • It has a speed of 442 Peta Flops.

What are Supercomputers?

  • Supercomputers are a class of extremely powerful computers.
  • The term is commonly applied to the fastest high-performance systems available at any given time.
  • The performance of a supercomputer is commonly measured in floating-point operations per second (FLOPS).
  • Most modern supercomputers use a Linux-based operating system.
  • Unlike conventional computers, they usually have more than one CPU (central processing unit).
  • They can operate on pairs of lists of numbers rather than on mere pairs of numbers.
  • Most supercomputers have a very large storage capacity, as well as a very fast input/output capability.

Indian Supercomputers

  • Two supercomputers from India — PARAM Siddhi-AI and Mihir.
  • They have made it to the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.
  • The two systems have been ranked 63rd and 146th, respectively.
  • PARAM Siddhi-AI: PARAM Siddhi-AI has a peak capacity of 5.267 Petaflops and an Rmax capacity of 4.6 Petaflops. It was led and built on NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD architecture.
  • Mihir’ is a 2.8 Petaflop supercomputer.