Satellite launches are a noisy affair especially for the satellite atop the rocket. Vibration and noise, unless compensated, could render it useless before it reaches orbit so researchers spend a lot of time on complex computer simulations that help them insulate the delicate craft. Now those simulations are about to get much more accurate thanks to a new supercomputer that began work this week in Japan.
The Fujitsu FX1 computer was inaugurated on Wednesday by the Japan Aerospace Explorations Agency. It has 3,008 nodes each of which has a 4-core Sparc64 VII microprocessor. The machine has 94 terabytes of memory and a theoretical peak performance of 120 teraflops (a teraflops is a trillion floating point operations per second).