RIKEN Center for Computational Science

OVERVIEW 計算科学研究機構とは

Director's Message

Dr. Kimihiko Hirao, Director, RIKEN AICS
Director, AICS
Kimihiko Hirao

The supercomputer is an essential tool for contemporary science and technology. The potential it offers for expanding basic research in areas such as cosmology, elementary particle physics, and the life sciences has been clearly demonstrated. But the supercomputer is equally essential to a wide range of advanced science and technology that is directly related to our daily lives, including scientific global warming forecasts, simulations that will help to minimize the damage from earthquakes, tsunamis, torrential rains, typhoons and other natural disasters, genome analysis for gene therapy and protein analysis for drug design, the development of new devices and materials, car crash simulations, jet engine design, and much more.

AICS was founded in July 2010 with the objective of helping the science of forecasting to flourish based on computer simulation. To this end, we are managing the operation of the K computer by maintaining a user-friendly environment and promoting collaborative projects with a focus on the disciplines of computational science and computer science.

After overcoming obstacles such as the disastrous earthquake of March 11, 2011, the K computer was able to take first place in the TOP500 ranking in June and then November 2011. Recently it took top place in Graph500 and HPCG, two new rankings of performance. In addition to its blistering speed and performance, it was designed with ease-of-use in mind, and has gained attention as one of the world’s top supercomputers for a wide range of scientific applications.

The K computer today is being used in a wide range of research areas from basic to research to industrial use, and has been responsible for many significant results in the areas prescribed by the government’s HPCI Strategic Program as well as by public users. It is also heavily used by private firms and collaborative researchers, leading in some cases to the commercialization of new technologies.

Various joint projects are currently underway to make use of the K computer efficiently. In the strategic field program, priority issues, experts from supercomputer facilities, research institutes, universities and industry have come together to exchange views and carry out research. They are trying to resolve challenging issues, thereby achieving scientific and technological breakthroughs which will help to strengthen Japan’s industrial base and solve global issues.

Our goal is to take full advantage of the K computer’s capabilities to push Japan to the forefront of computational science and enhance our nation’s competitiveness by creating a converging point of global knowledge that will attract scientist from around the world. We hope to live up to the expectations of the Japanese people and the international community by producing exciting results that will amaze the world.

RIKEN has been selected to be the development body of FLAGSHIP 2020 Project. AICS now has two important missions: continuing to operate and manage the K computer as well as to generate cutting-edge scientific results and technological breakthroughs, and the successful development of the next generation supercomputer, Post-K computer. We ask for your support as we work to further expand our programs.