Chapter 7
Industrial Applications
of High-Performance
Computing in Japan
Makoto Tsubokura
7.1 History of HPC in Japan and National Supercomputing Projects 98
7.1.1 Hardware Development and Governmental Support 98 Numerical Wind Tunnel (1993) 99 CP-PACS (1996) 100 Earth Simulator (2002) 100
7.1.2 Soware Development for Industrial Applications and
Governmental Support 101 Frontier Simulation Soware for Industrial
Science (FY 2002–2005) 101 Revolutionary Simulation Soware Project
(FY 2005–2007) 102 Research and Development on Innovative
Simulation Soware (FY 2008–2012) 102
7.2 Industrial Users of HPC in Japan 103
7.2.1 Automotive Industry 103
7.2.2 Semiconductor Industry 103
7.2.3 Biomechanical and Biomedical Industry 104
7.2.4 Civil Engineering and Construction Industry 104
7.3 Current Status of HPC: National Projects,
Infrastructure, and Services 105
7.3.1 Overview of the K Computer Project (HPCI Project) 105
98 Industrial Applications of High-Performance Computing
7.1.1 Hardware Development and Governmental Support
e development of Japanese supercomputers in its earlier days was mainly
supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). e
IBM System/360, introduced in 1964, had heralded the third generation of
computers (computers controlled by vacuum tube were of the rst genera-
tion and those by transistor of the second generation) controlled by inte-
grated circuits (IC) or large-scale integration (LSI) chips, and it had quickly
swept the Japanese market for mainframes. e widespread popularity of
this machine impressed on the Japanese government the need to support
its computer industry, and in 1966, METI launched a national project for
“the development of the highly advanced computer.” Hitachi Ltd. as chief
organizer, NEC Corp., Fujitsu Ltd., Toshiba Corp., Mitsubishi Electric
Corp., and Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. joined this project, which ran
5 years and consumed public funds amounting to around 10billion yen.
Building on the achievement of this project, Hitachi developed HITAC
H-8700 (1970) and 8800 (1971), which were installed as mainframes in
major universities and national laboratories.
Besides academia and government, these systems also found a variety
of uses in industry, such as in seat reservation systems of railway compa-
nies and online systems of nancial institutions.
As the 1970s progressed, new computers with vector processors
appeared. e most famous and successful was the Cray-1, which in
1976 had a peak performance of 160 megaops. Japanese manufacturers
7.3.2 K Computer and High-Performance Computing
Infrastructure 105
7.3.3 High-Performance Computing Infrastructure Consortium 106
7.3.4 Strategic Programs for Innovative Research and Field 4
“Industrial Innovation 107
7.4 RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science 108
7.4.1 Industrial Committee for Supercomputing Promotion 108
7.4.2 Distribution of K Computer Resources 108
7.5 Industrial Applications on the K Computer:
Road Vehicle Aerodynamics 109
7.6 Summary 112
References 112

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