Our world is in transition, with automation and digitization edging-out more humane forms of industrial labor. Some countries are actively pushing against that, but others, like Japan, are running head-first towards the future. The nation is believed to be pushing to build the world's fastest supercomputer in an attempt to revitalize its recent malaise. Reuters is reporting that officials will spend $173 million on a machine capable of achieving 130 petaflops and besting current world number one, China's Sunway TaihuLight.
Japan's not had a great time of it recently, with an aging workforce and a slow-growing economy that generates plenty of comment. Historically, it's been the center of the technology world, but South Korea and China have both supplanted the nation in the field of consumer electronics. The last time that Japan was king of the supercomputing hill was way back in 2011 when Fujitsu's K Computer (pictured) topped the world rankings at 10.5 petaflops.
The country has asked various companies to bid for the honor of actually building the machine, codenamed ABCI (AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure). The winner will be announced after December 8th, and will expected to come online in 2018, at least according to anonymous sources. When operational, Japan will rent out time on the platform to companies who currently utilize Google and Microsoft services in an attempt to win back home crowds. It remains to be seen if it'll be successful, but it'll be worth the wait to watch it unfold.