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Japan to build world's fastest supercomputer. Not for Pokemon Go

Japan wants to reclaim the title for world's fastest machine and use it for medical research, car software and building robots. No word about video games.

This is the Chinese supercomputer Japan wants to beat.
Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

Japan is spending nearly $175 million to build the world's fastest supercomputer, according the BBC, in an effort to reclaim the record from China.

The AI Bridging Cloud computer is expected to run at speeds as high as 130 petaflops, the BBC reported. That would be faster than China's Sunway TaihuLight, the current titleholder, which has a theoretical maximum of 125 petaflops (but generally slacks at just 93 petaflops).

A petaflop equals a quadrillion floating point operations conducted in one second. A floating point operations, or FLOP, is a step in a calculation.

AIBC, which Japanese authorities hope to complete before the end of next year, will be used to analyze huge datasets and could be used for medical research, improvements in autonomous car software and designing robots.

"As far as we know, there is nothing out there that is as fast," Satoshi Sekiguchi, head of Japan's ‎National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, told BBC in a statement. The institute will oversee the development of AIBC.

AIST didn't respond to a request for comment. But its webpage shows the agency is actively pursuing a range of projects, including the development of Electro-conductive Transparent Plastic Wrap.

Japanese businesses will be able to rent time on the AIBC, something the government hopes will dissuade them from using similar services run by US companies.