Photo/IllutrationJapan’s leading supercomputer K is currently utilized by many companies to develop their products. Its successor is now being developed by national research institute Riken and major computer maker Fujitsu Ltd. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

A central processing unit (CPU) that will be the brains of the successor to Japan’s leading supercomputer K and have the world's fastest calculating speed has been developed by national research institute Riken and computer maker Fujitsu Ltd.

The CPU will make it possible to manufacture a supercomputer whose calculation speed for practical purposes is up to 100 times faster than that of K, sources said on Aug. 21.

Riken and Fujitsu are aiming to put the new supercomputer into full operation in 2021, they added.

The new supercomputer will make it possible to predict the damage caused by the combination of an earthquake and tsunami in an urban area measuring several tens of kilometers by several tens of kilometers.

It will also be useful in the development of medicines and shed new light on the process leading to the creation of the universe.

According to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the development of the new supercomputer is expected to cost about 110 billion yen ($1 billion).

Riken and Fujitsu started to develop the CPU in 2014 with subsidies from the government and completed the prototype in June this year. They tested its functions and confirmed its performance capabilities.

New technologies used for the manufacturing of the CPU can also be used for high-performance CPUs for conventional computers.

Riken plans to report the success of the development of the CPU to an experts' meeting of the ministry. The government’s Council for Science, Technology and Innovation is then expected to approve the manufacturing of the new supercomputer.

By combining many pieces of the new-type CPU, Riken and Fujitsu are aiming to develop a supercomputer whose calculating speed for practical purposes is up to 100 times faster than that of K.

According to Riken, the new supercomputer is likely to take the distinguished top position in two world rankings of supercomputers based on calculation speeds for practical purposes.

It could also ascend to the first position in the “Top 500” world ranking based on speeds for simple calculations.