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Fugaku (meaning “Mount Fuji” in Japanese) is a new machine that can perform more than 415 quadrillion computations a second and is now used to determine how breath droplets spread, making it a crucial device in the fight against COVID-19.

Fugaku was developed over the past six years by the Japanese technology giant Fujitsu and by Riken, a government-backed research institute in the western Japanese city of Kobe.

Fugaku includes 150,000 high-performance processing units and can test thousands of substances a week.

The computer is set to go into full operation in 2021. So far it has been used on an experimental basis to research COVID-19, including diagnostics and the effectiveness of Japan’s new contact tracing app.

The Japanese supercomputer has taken the top spot in the biannual Top500 supercomputer speed ranking. Fugaku makes use of Fujitsu’s 48-core A64FX system-on-chip.

It’s the first time a computer based on ARM processors has topped this list.

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