NEC gets first order for SX-9 supercomputer

A week to the day since NEC launched its new SX-9 supercomputer, the company has its first order.

A week to the day since NEC launched its new SX-9 supercomputer, the company has its first order.

Tohoku University in the northern Japanese city of Sendai has ordered a 16-node system, the computer maker said. The new computer should achieve a peak performance of 26.2T Flops (floating point operations per second) making it the fastest SX-series supercomputer in Japan, according to NEC.

The machine will be used at the university's Information Synergy Center. The center supports scientists working in cutting-edge fields such as aeronautics and space, environmental simulations, IT and nanotechnology and has a long history of using NEC computers. It employed an NEC SENAC-1 shortly after it opened in 1969 and became an early customer for NEC supercomputers with an SX-1 in 1986.

The new SX-9 that Tohoku University will get is one of the most powerful computers yet developed. The machine is based on a custom processor capable of a peak vector performance of 102.4G Flops.

As a vector supercomputer it's good at running scientific applications and where large amounts of data need to be processed. Such machines typically find homes in universities, meteorological agencies, automakers and aerospace laboratories.

When it launched the machine last week NEC said it hopes to gain about 700 orders over the next three years. The machine is offered on lease with prices starting at US$26,000 per month for the entry-level system. Meteo France and Osaka University will be among the first customers, the company said at the launch.

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Martyn Williams

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