Kobe, Japan – Sumitomo Rubber Industries, Ltd (SRI) has been given access to what has been described as “the world’s most powerful computer” in order to develop tire materials for future mobility.
SRI will be using the new ‘exascale’ Fugaku supercomputer to expand its materials simulation capabilities at the smallest particle level, to support the development of “long-lasting” tires, the Japanese tire maker announced 18 May.
Sumitomo Rubber previously used Japan’s K-supercomputer to launch its 4D nano design process, which it says highly improved the performance of Falken’s tire range.
The new computer, according to SRI, has “up to 100 times the application performance of its predecessor, and is capable of performing approximately 442 quadrillion calculations per second.”
For SRI, one key application of Fugaku will be to advance tire performance sustaining technology (PST).
PST prevents the decline in tire performance that occurs over time due to wear and tear, allowing tires to maintain 'like-new performance' for longer.
The supercomputer will help accurately simulate the molecular behaviour of rubber during tire usage, so that chemical changes in the tire can be controlled.
“As we look to the near future, the role of tires will change,” said Dr Bernd Löwenhaupt, managing director, Sumitomo Rubber Europe.
Tires, he went on to say, will need a longer lifespan to support the new autonomous and connected mobility trends.
“Fugaku provides a crucial tool for us to deliver those attributes and continue to be a leader in advanced rubber technology,” he concluded.
Fugaku has 158,976 central processing units (CPU) and its performance surpasses the combined performance of the next four supercomputers on the top 500 list, according to SRI.
Previously used for scientific research, including examining the effect of masks on the spread of Covid, the computer has been made available to SRI since March.