Apple finally made the announcement we’d all been expecting for years: the company is beginning the transition of Macs away from Intel to ARM powered chips. And with perfect timing, there was some news lending the ideal credibility to Apple’s claims that this will make Macs more powerful …

The Verge reports that the fastest supercomputer in the world is now powered by ARM processors.

A Japanese supercomputer has taken the top spot in the biannual Top500 supercomputer speed ranking. Fugaku, a computer in Kobe co-developed by Riken and Fujitsu, makes use of Fujitsu’s 48-core A64FX system-on-chip. It’s the first time a computer based on ARM processors has topped the list.

And not by a small margin, either.

Fugaku turned in a Top500 HPL result of 415.5 petaflops, 2.8 times as fast as IBM’s Summit, the nearest competitor. Fugaku also attained top spots in other rankings that test computers on different workloads, including Graph 500, HPL-AI, and HPCG. No previous supercomputer has ever led all four rankings at once.

Unsurprisingly, the supercomputer has been put to work on COVID-19 research.

Fugaku is currently being used on an experimental basis for research on COVID-19, including on diagnostics, therapeutics, and simulations of the spread of the virus.

Once it goes into full operation, from April of next year, it will be used on a wide variety of worthy projects.

It will be put to use in applications aimed at achieving the Society 5.0 plan, by running applications in areas such as drug discovery; personalized and preventive medicine; simulations of natural disasters; weather and climate forecasting; energy creation, storage, and use; development of clean energy; new material development; new design and production processes; and—as a purely scientific endeavor—elucidation of the fundamental laws and evolution of the universe.

Fugaku has been in conceptual development for a decade, with design work beginning six years ago.

The first ARM powered Mac will be available to developers from later this week, with the first commercial ARM Mac going on sale by the end of the year.

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