Feeds

NEC brings supercomputing crown back to Japan

Backs to the labs for IBM

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

NEC has trumped US computer makers once again by announcing a new supercomputer that destroys previous performance marks. The "SX-8" is a follow on to NEC's Earth Simulator, which held the supercomputing top spot for some time. The new machine can reach a peak performance of 65 teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second). The Earth Simulator topped out at 40 teraflops.

More importantly from a political and bragging rights standpoint, NEC has brought the supercomputing crown back to Japan. IBM, last month managed to unseat NEC with its Blue Gene/L system that posted a sustained performance of 36 teraflops. Earth Simulator only posted a sustained performance of 35.86 teraflops. While NEC did not immediately release sustained performance numbers for SX-8, it's expected to go well past both of the older systems.

Petty as it might seem, the US and Japan battle quite seriously over these competitions, hoping to establish their respective computing strengths. NEC's new machine, however, still trails IBM's Blue Gene in a number of areas. For starters, IBM's system consumes just a fraction of the power required to run an NEC supercomputer, as IBM uses a new architecture that combines many low power processors. In addition, IBM's Blue Gene computer takes up hardly any space at all when compared to a room-sized giant like Earth Simulator.

NEC tried to address both of these concerns with the new system, saying the SX-8 takes up 25 percent less space than Earth Simulator and consumes 50 percent less power. These numbers still leave it well behind IBM.

At present, NEC's SX-8 results are only theoretical. And, if it does take a lead over IBM as expected, it will be a short lived one. IBM's Blue Gene is only partially completed. A much larger version of the system due out in the first half of 2005 should outperform NEC's systems by quite a bit.

The SX-8 is sold as a single system with 8 processors on up to a maximum configuration that combines 512 of the 8 processor systems to form a whopping 4,096 processor machine. NEC hopes to sell 700 of the SX-8 units over the next three years. The system will be available in December. ®

Related stories

BlueGene sneaks past Earth Simulator
US Navy buys IBM supercomputer
NEC declares Teraflopian war

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER
'Acceleration engines' key to performance, security, Larry says
Linux? Bah! Red Hat has its eye on the CLOUD – and it wants to own it
CEO says it will be 'undisputed leader' in enterprise cloud tech
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.