NEC launches fastest vector supercomputer

NEC put on sale this week what it says is the fastest vector supercomputer in the world.

NEC Corp. is selling what it says is the fastest vector supercomputer in the world.

The SX-9 is based on a new processor developed by the Tokyo company that boasts a performance of over 100G Flops (floating point operations per second). Up to 16 of the chips can be fitted into a single node and up to 512 nodes can be built together to create what would likely be one of the most powerful computers in the world -- a computer with a theoretical peak processing power of 839T Flops (teraflops).

NEC hasn't benchmarked the machine yet but estimates it would achieve a Linpack score of around 700T Flops, said Hiroshi Takahara, senior director of NEC's HPC marketing division. That's more than double the current fastest supercomputer in the world, the IBM BlueGene/L machine at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The new machine, launched this week, is much more powerful than NEC's SX-8R, which it succeeds. To get the same processing power in one SX-9 node would require 13 SX-8R nodes so the new computer takes up 3.9 times less floor space and uses 3.6 times less electricity for the same power.

Vector supercomputers are typically used in scientific applications and where large amounts of data needs to be processed. NEC has had some success selling previous systems to meteorological agencies in several nations and to universities, automakers and aerospace laboratories.

The SX-9 is aimed at the same type of customer and will be offered on lease with prices starting at US$26,000 per month for the entry-level system. NEC aims to sell about 700 systems over the next three years and already has its first users. Meteo France and Osaka University are among the first customers, said Takahara.

With the new supercomputer NEC will again be challenging large U.S. computer makers like IBM and Cray. Five years ago the NEC-built Earth Simulator was ranked the world's fastest supercomputer but that machine was surpassed by an IBM computer and has dropped to 20th position in the current Top 500 supercomputer ranking.

The SX-9, should a large configuration model be built, will have a good chance of restoring NEC's name back into the top positions of the influential ranking.

The Japanese government is pushing to get the country back on top of the supercomputer ranking. It has awarded contracts to NEC, Fujitsu and Hitachi for the design and construction of a 10P Flops (petaflops) supercomputer that is expected to be the world's fastest when it is completed in 2012.

The machine will be built in Kobe in western Japan and operated by public research institute Riken. It will be mixed architecture with NEC and Hitachi designing the vector side and Fujitsu the scalar side. A budget of about US$1 billion has been earmarked for the project.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?