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  • richardmitnick 11:06 am on November 29, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Japan,   

    From INVERSE: “Japan Reveals Plan to Build the World’s Fastest Supercomputer” 

    INVERSE

    INVERSE

    November 25, 2016
    Mike Brown

    Japan is about to try and build the fastest computer the world has ever known. The Japanese ministry of economy, trade and industry has decided to spend 19.5 billion yen ($173 million) on creating the fastest supercomputer known to the public. The machine will be used to propel Japan into a new era of technological advancement, aiding research into autonomous cars, renewable energy, robots and artificial intelligence (A.I.).

    “As far as we know, there is nothing out there that is as fast,” Satoshi Sekiguchi, director general at Japan’s ‎National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, said in a report published Friday.

    The computer is currently called ACBI, which stands for A.I. Bridging Cloud Infrastructure. Companies have already begun bidding for the project, with bidding set to close December 8. The machine is targeted at achieving 130 petaflops, or 130 quadrillion calculations per second.

    Private companies will be able to tap into ACBI’s power for a fee. The machine is aimed at helping develop deep learning applications, which will be vital for future A.I. advancements. One area where deep learning will be crucial is in autonomous vehicles, as systems will be able to analyze the real-world data collected from a car’s sensors to improve its ability to avoid collisions.

    The move follows plans revealed in September for Japan to lead the way in self-driving map technology. The country is aiming to secure its position as world leaders in technological innovation, and the map project aims to set the global standard for autonomous vehicle road maps by getting a head start on data collection. Self-driving cars will need 3D maps to accurately interpret sensor input data and understand its current position.

    See the full article here .

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  • richardmitnick 12:38 pm on August 1, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Japan   

    From Eos: “Mapping the Movement of Energy Under Japan” 

    Eos news bloc

    Eos

    8.1.16
    Leah Crane

    New research on the energy waves caused by earthquakes provides the most detailed map to date of the subduction zone beneath Japan.

    1
    The Japan islands, pictured here, sit atop four lithospheric plates. The movement and interaction of those plates subject Japan to earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Credit: NASA/GSFC/Aqua

    Deep under the islands of Japan, the crust and mantle of the Earth move and crack. Four lithospheric plates—the Eurasian, Okhotsk, Pacific, and Philippine Sea plates—crunch together there. The strong interactions at the interface of those plates make the Japan subduction zone a prime location for active volcanoes, tsunamis, and earthquakes.

    As earthquakes and other seismic events occur, they send waves of energy rumbling through the Earth. In studying how those waves move in three dimensions, Liu and Zhao developed an increased understanding of how the lithospheric plates interact with the area around them and react to the energy pulsing through them.

    Seismic events like earthquakes release energy through the Earth. As the waves propagate through varying materials, they can reveal the seismic anisotropy, or how the velocity of energy traveling through the Earth is affected by the direction or angle of propagation. When there are vertical cracks in the Earth—as is particularly common in subduction zones where the crust and mantle are most stressed—it causes azimuthal anisotropy, which means that the horizontal direction of wave propagation has a greater effect on variations in velocity.

    The researchers used the Kiban network of 1852 seismic stations to record the travel times of seismic waves from 2528 earthquakes in and around the Japan Islands. They also recorded seismic wave travel times from 747 other teleseismic events, or earthquakes that originated more than 3000 kilometers from the station sites. From these two data sets, the authors were able to recreate the motion of the waves, building a high-resolution three-dimensional map of the azimuthal anisotropy structure of the Japan subduction zone down to an unprecedented depth of 700 kilometers.

    The study found that energy waves traveled faster parallel to trenches along the subducting Pacific and Philippine Sea plates, perhaps because of the orientation of certain minerals or faults on the ocean floor. However, things get more complicated in Earth’s mantle: Plate subduction and dehydration joined with convective circulation to cause energy to flow perpendicularly to the trenches and even in a toroidal pattern around a hole in the Philippine Sea plate. Unexplained anomalies remain, particularly under the Pacific slab beneath northeast Japan, but this study has provided a more detailed description of the Japan subduction zone than any previous research. (Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, doi:10.1002/2016JB013116, 2016)

    See the full article here .

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    Eos is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

     
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