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NEC supercomputer is 'world's fastest' at 839TFLOPS

Posted: 31 Oct 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:vector supercomputer? CPUs? fluid dynamics? nanotechnology?


NEC Corp. has launched SX-9, said to be the world's fastest vector supercomputer with a peak processing performance of 839TFLOPS. The SX-9 features the world's first CPU capable of a peak vector performance of 102.4GFLOPS per single core.

In addition to the newly developed CPU, the SX-9 combines large-scale shared memory of up to 1Tbyte and ultra high-speed interconnects achieving speeds up to 128GBps. Through these enhancements, the SX-9 closes in on the PFLOPS range by realizing a processing performance of 839TFLOPS. The SX-9 also achieves an approximate three-quarter reduction in space and power consumption over conventional models. This was achieved by applying advanced LSI design and high-density packaging technology.

Compared with scalar servers incorporating multiple general-purpose CPUs, the vector supercomputer offers superior operating performance for high-speed scientific computation and ultrahigh-speed processing of large-volume data. The new product is designed for applications in fields such as weather forecasting, fluid dynamics and environmental simulation, as well as simulations for as-yet-unknown materials in nanotechnology and polymeric design.

Inheriting existing vector architecture, the new product improves on this with the addition of an arithmetic unit and an increased number of vector pipelines. This resulted in the development of the world's fastest single-chip vector processor with a computing performance of 102.4GFLOPS per single core, and a wide memory bandwidth of 256GBps. With a single node incorporating up to 16 CPUs, computing performance above 1.6TFLOPS is achieved. The product also realizes a large-scale shared memory consisting of a memory capacity of 1Tbyte.

The SX9 also offers reduced TCO via high-density packaging and energy-saving technology. The vector processor has been integrated into a single chip by applying leading-edge CMOS technology with 65nm copper interconnects and advanced LSI design technology. The use of high-density packaging technology in which processor(s) and memory are implemented on a single module, and an effective design that provides optimum cooling functions, has resulted in a reduction in both space and power consumption of the device. The product is one quarter the size of conventional models and uses about quarter the power.

A user-friendly computing environment also characterizes SX9. It is loaded with SUPER-UX, basic software compliant with the UNIX System V OS that can extract maximum performance from the SX series. SUPER-UX is equipped with flexible functions that can deliver more effective operational management compatible with large-scale multiple node systems.

The use of powerful compiler library groups and program development support functions to maximize SX performance makes the SX-9 a developer-friendly system. Application assets developed by users can also be integrated without modification, enabling full leverage of the ultrahigh-speed computing performance of the SX-9.

The SX-9 will be showcased at Supercomputing 2007 in Reno, Nevada on Nov. 10-16. It will also be on display at iExpo2007 (NEC's own exhibition) at Tokyo's Big Site on Dec. 5-7.

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