|The Leading Source for Global News and Information Covering the Ecosystem of High Productivity Computing / October 17, 2006|
NEC Corporation has announced the launch and availability of a new supercomputer in the SX series, model SX-8R (an enhanced version of SX-8). The company claims it is the world's most powerful vector supercomputer with a peak vector performance of 144 TFLOPS.
The new supercomputer contains twice as many pipelines for addition and multiplication as the SX-8 in its vector unit, the central function of a vector processor. In addition, with 10 percent faster clock cycles, it realizes more than double the performance of the SX-8 at 35.2 GFLOPS. As a system, it achieves 144 TFLOPS by incorporating up to 4,096 CPUs.
The monthly rental price of the SX-8R will start from approximately 1,210,000 yen, and NEC expects 200 system sales over the next year. NEC has already begun development of its next vector supercomputer, focusing on a single-chip vector processor whose performance per CPU exceeds 100 GFLOPS.
Features of the new product include:
1. New vector processor: Containing twice as many pipelines for addition and multiplication (originally one pipeline for each), the vector unit realizes more than double the peak vector performance of the SX-8 at 35.2 GFLOPS (originally 16 GFLOPS).
2. Higher performance: The single-node model (includes up to 8 CPUs) achieves a peak vector performance of 281.6 GFLOPS, while the multi-node model achieves the world's fastest peak vector performance of 144 TFLOPS when configured with 512 nodes.
In addition, it also boasts an enlarged memory capacity of up to 128 TB in 512-node configuration by doubling the memory capacity up to 256 GB per node. A high peak data transfer rate of 288 TB/s between the CPU(s) and memory is realized, an increase of 10 percent.
3. Resource management: NEC released a new scheduler "JobManipulator," which is designed to maximize system availability by a planned resource management function. Based on the required amount of resource (CPU, memory, etc.) and a user's execution profile (jobs), it offers back fill scheduling, which means systematically distributing the computation resource required for job execution and enabling a user to occupy the entire resource.
In 1983, NEC entered the market of supercomputers with the launch of SX-2. This was the world's first supercomputer to achieve a performance exceeding one GFLOPS. Since then, NEC has been providing systems for high-end users in climate, aerospace and automotive industries.
An increase in performance per single core has become more challenging in the recent HPC market due to the multi-core processor design that is applied to CPUs. NEC has advanced its development of a next generation vector supercomputer based on a single-chip vector processor, whose peak vector performance exceeds 100 GFLOPS per CPU. NEC will continue this development toward the realization of supercomputers with higher levels of sustained performance and more favorable price performance in large-scale and large capacity scientific computations, utilizing leading-edge CMOS LSI and LSI design technologies.