NEC unveils SX-7 supercomputer

NEC has released details of a supercomputer in its SX series that offers improvements in several areas over its existing...

NEC has released details of a supercomputer in its SX series that offers improvements in several areas over its existing top-of-the-range model.

The SX-7 boasts a peak vector performance of up to 282.5Gflops (floating point operations per second) per node, which is more than three times that of the company's SX-6 supercomputer, which was launched in October 2001.

In its maximum multi-node configuration, the machine has a peak vector performance of 18.1T Flops.

The performance increases seen in the SX-7 are the result of work in several areas, including an increase in the amount of memory that can be shared in each node.

The SX-7 supports up to 256Gbytes of memory per node, up from 64Gbytes in NEC's SX-6 machine, and the maximum data transfer rate has been increased from 256Gbytes per second to 1.13Tbytes per second.

Each SX-7 node supports up to 32 processors, which is four times as many as the SX-6, and each of the NEC-developed custom processors has also been improved. They now run at a clock speed of 8.83Gflops, compared with 8Gflops on the SX-6.

Multi-node configurations of the computer can run from two to 64 nodes meaning support for from 16 to 2,048 processors and up to 16Tbytes of memory.

As a member of the SX series, the machine will run software developed for NEC's Super UX supercomputer operating system.

The machine has a basic monthly rental price of ¥8.2m (£27,500) and NEC hopes to attract orders for around 20 systems during its first year of availability, said Chris Shimizu, a spokesman for NEC.

The SX-7 will go on sale in December.

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