Tokyo and Tsukuba, Japan, November 18, 2011 - A research group from RIKEN, the University of Tsukuba, the University of Tokyo, and Fujitsu Limited today announced that research results obtained using the "K computer" were awarded the ACM Gordon Bell Prize, Peak-Performance at SC11, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis taking place in Seattle, on November 17 (US Pacific Standard Time).
The award-winning results, presented at SC11, revealed the electron states of silicon nanowires, which have attracted attention as a core material for next-generation semiconductors. To verify the computational performance of the K computer, quantum-mechanical computations were performed on the electron states of a nanowire with approximately 100,000 atoms (20 nanometers in diameter and 6 nanometers long), close to the actual size of the materials, and achieved execution performance of 3.08 petaflops (representing execution efficiency of 43.6%). The results of the detailed calculations on the electron states of silicon nanowires, comprised of 10,000 to 40,000 atoms, clarified that electron transport characteristics will change depending on the cross-sectional shape of the nanowire.
The award marked the first time that a research group from Japan won the Gordon Bell Prize for Peak-Performance since 2004, when a team led by Professor Akira Kageyama, currently based at Kobe University, won the prize for performing a simulation of a geomagnetic dynamo using the first-generation Earth Simulator installed at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).
The application used in this current research is one of the core applications developed as part of the "Grand Challenges" program (which, in the field of nanotechnology, is led by the Institute for Molecular Science at Japan's National Institute of Natural Sciences) of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT).
The K computer was recently recognized for the second time as the world's most powerful supercomputer, rating at 10.51 petaflops on the Linpack benchmark.