Falken uses World’s Fastest Supercomputer for Research


Sumitomo Rubber Industries (SRI), the parent company of Falken Tyres, have been granted use of the Fugaku1 supercomputer this month. The supercomputer is available for general use by academic and industrial researchers and SRI has been granted one of the first usages for industrial research purposes.

SRI will utilise the powerful supercomputer to further develop its proprietary Advanced 4D Nano Technology, which was unveiled back 2015. This ground-breaking technology has formed the basis of key rubber material development, in particular the simultaneous improvement of fuel efficiency, grip and wear resistance. This use of Fugaku will aim to bring further advancements to the technology to adapt to the changing mobility landscape.

As part of the Smart Tyre Concept, SRI’s key development concept for technical innovation, the Sumitomo Rubber Group has been working on the development of performance sustaining technology. This is a new technology that curbs the decline in tyre performance that occurs over time due to wear and tear, thus maintaining as-new performance for longer.

One of the major challenges involved in developing this technology is it requires a precise understanding of the chemical changes occurring within the rubber’s molecular level during tyre usage. The aim is to control the chemical changes.

SRI recently published a research paper2 describing a new technique for simulating the molecular behaviour of rubber while accounting for their molecular structures in greater detail. Backed by the power of the Fugaku supercomputer, SRI are now continuing the research to accurately simulate rubber’s molecular behaviour and their chemical changes.

1Fugaku Supercomputer
Developed to produce world-leading computational results as the successor to the K Computer, while also contributing to the further development of Japan by facilitating solutions to societal issues and scientific challenges. Fugaku is the world’s premier supercomputer in terms of overall capabilities (power and computing performance, convenience and ease of use, ability to produce groundbreaking results while accelerating big data processing and artificial intelligence). Equipped with 158,976 central processing units (CPU), Fugaku is capable of performing approximately 442 quadrillion calculations per second. It was rated as the world’s most powerful supercomputer by TOP500, HPCG, HPL-AI and Graph500 twice in a row (in June and November of 2020).

2 Research paper describing a new technique for examining molecular structures in greater detail: https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/5.0036555.