Molex innovation powers the Fugaku supercomputer

Molex technology has enabled the new Fugaku supercomputer to achieve epic speeds and make key functions available a full year ahead of schedule, supporting exceptionally high bandwidth and data processing demands. 

Co-developed by Japanese science institute RIKEN and global IT leader Fujitsu, the Fugaku system brings record-breaking, complex computing power to urgent societal needs, such as scientific research and disaster preparedness as well as artificial intelligence exploration and other social and economic initiatives.

The path to early launch

Originally slated for launch in 2021, the Fugaku launch was accelerated to address pressing needs for deep scientific research related to the COVID-19 pandemic. To advance development, the team required both standard and custom-designed components delivered with speed. Molex supplied high-speed, cabled backplane technology to serve as the backbone of Fugaku, enabling reliable, critical connections between the system’s many circuit boards.

Advanced development of backplane interconnects, coupled with expertise on integrating them into cable assemblies, provided superior signal integrity transmission and electrical consistency on every differential pair.

“Expertise we developed throughout past years on similar technologies positioned Molex well to deliver the capability, capacity and quality needed to accelerate deployment time,” says Jairo Guerrero, General Manager of Molex Enterprise Solutions, Copper Solutions Business Unit. “Fugaku is an example of our ability to support future technologies on a major scale.”

In total, Fugaku utilizes 30 standard Molex products and eight specialty components designed to accommodate increased bandwidth and density. Molex production facilities also worked tirelessly to meet the aggressive new timeline while maintaining component compliance.

Claiming the title of top supercomputer

Once fully operational, Fugaku will harness more than 150,000 central processing units (CPUs)—each one relying on Molex connectors—making it the fastest, most powerful supercomputer in the world. In fact, Fugaku recently earned its title by performing more than 415 quadrillion (or 415,000 trillion) computations in one second. In doing so, Fugaku outperformed its predecessor, the K computer, and operated three times faster than the former leading supercomputer.

Molex continues to support Fujitsu as more Fugaku capabilities come online, supplying key components that allow for full installation and implementation of the world’s leading supercomputer.  With Molex’s deep design, component and production expertise, companies like Fujitsu can successfully launch disruptive solutions and initiatives that demand exceptional reliability, speed, power and reliability.

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