"Supercomputers are very expensive and we introduced this class of machine so that each laboratory and small organisation can purchase one without having to have a special budget," said Kosuke Yamauchi, a spokesman for NEC.
Based on a single SX-6 microprocessor with performance of 8G floating point operations per second (FLOPS), the computer is available with either 4Gbytes or 8Gbytes of main. It runs the Super-UX Unix-based operating system and supports Fortran 90/SX and C++/SX programming languages.
Beyond the low price, another advantage of the SX-6i is that it shares architecture with other supercomputers in NEC's SX-6 range. This means users are able to run any software written for SX-6 machines on the new computer.
The desk-side version of the machine measures 450mm by 730mm by 700mm and weighs 100kg. Two rack-mount versions are also available in 25U and 37U formats (1U = 1.75in).