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NEC's SX-ACE vector supercomputer begins operating at Osaka University and Kyushu University

*** For immediate use April 27, 2015

Tokyo, April 27, 2015 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) today announced that the SX-ACE vector supercomputers delivered to the Institute of Laser Engineering of Osaka University and the Research Institute for Applied Mechanics of Kyushu University have begun operating.

SX-ACE (for a maximum of eight racks)SX-ACE (for a maximum of eight racks)

The SX-ACE is highly suitable for scientific computing that requires super-high-speed parallel processing and advanced simulations using large-scale data. The Institute of Laser Engineering of Osaka University will use the product for explaining the laser plasma phenomenon in particular for theoretical physics research into nuclear fusion, which is expected to replace fossil fuels as a new energy source in the future. At the Research Institute for Applied Mechanics of Kyushu University, the SX-ACE will be used for high-performance simulations to solve a variety of mechanics challenges under the broad keywords of natural energy, including wind power, global environment, and nuclear fusion.

The SX-ACE is a new vector supercomputer equipped with a multi-core vector CPU, which enables the world's top-level single-core performance of 64 GFLOPS and the largest memory bandwidth per core of 64 GB/s. Its performance per rack has improved 10 times over the previous model (*), with a rack computing performance of 16 teraFLOPS (hereinafter "TFLOPS") and a memory bandwidth of 16 Tbytes/second. It is especially suited for scientific and engineering computing applications and data-intensive applications that need high-speed processing of big data. It achieves high-sustained performance in various simulations – for weather forecasting, analysis of global environmental changes, fluid-dynamics analysis, nanotechnology, development of new materials and others. Using NEC's leading edge LSI technology, a high-density packaging design, and high-efficiency cooling technology, the SX-ACE also reduces power consumption by 90% (*) and requires 20% of the floor space of the existing model.

Institute of Laser Engineering, Osaka University

The Institute of Laser Engineering of Osaka University (ILE) studies plasma science in extreme states such as ultra-high density and ultra-high temperature by using some of the world's highest-level lasers, which it develops itself. The ILE advances research with the aim of creating new energies and substances and developing new interdisciplinary fields such as laser cosmic physics.

The SX-ACE with 32 nodes (maximum theoretical performance of 8.2 TFLOPS) introduced by ILE at this time will be used for simulation studies of plasma physics in cases where the targets are irradiated with high-intensity lasers. Above all, the use of the SX-ACE is expected to contribute to the explanation of phenomena through complicated electromagnetic radiation fluid simulations involving multiple scales and multiple physics.

"It is now possible to undertake high-speed computing of complicated codes with intricate numerical models, without a high level of tuning. Above all, compared to the previous machine, we have noticed a higher level of practical performance that cannot be expressed with catalog values alone. In addition, the power consumption is lower than we expected, so we hope that we will be able to reduce the cost of operations," said Associate Professor Hideo Nagatomo of ILE.

Simulation of a laser implosion with a code for electromagnetic radiation fluid simulationSimulation of a laser implosion with a code for electromagnetic radiation fluid simulation

Research Institute for Applied Mechanics, Kyushu University

The Research Institute for Applied Mechanics of Kyushu University (RIAM) works on advanced issues related to mechanics and its applications. It cooperates with researchers from all over Japan and the world to solve problems regarding energy and the global environment, which are extremely important for mankind in the 21st century. The SX-ACE with 16 nodes (maximum theoretical performance of 4.1 TFLOPS) introduced by RIAM at this time is planned to be used for numerical assessments of wind conditions for introducing onshore/offshore wind turbines (atmospheric turbulence simulations), atmospheric environment simulations for predicting the impact of tiny particles blowing in, such as yellow sand and PM2.5, simulations for predicting oceanic conditions aimed at monitoring the oceanic environment or determining the causes of oceanic pollution, and other purposes.

"Large-scale, high-performance numerical assessments of wind conditions (atmospheric turbulence simulations) undertaken using supercomputers are essential for introducing and expanding onshore and offshore wind power generation in an appropriate manner in the future. The scrutiny of a vast quantity of simulation results will lead to the accurate location of local atmospheric turbulence fields, about which many aspects still remain unknown. Supercomputing technologies are not only contributing to academic research, they have also been found to be extremely promising in the wind power industry," said Associate Professor Takanori Uchida of RIAM.

Atmospheric turbulence simulation in a complex topographyAtmospheric turbulence simulation in a complex topography

"Using our vector technology, NEC will examine the development of the next generation of high-performance servers targeting industrial application fields and big data analysis, in addition to conventional supercomputer fields, thereby leading the latest developments into the future," said Tomoyasu Nishimura, General Manager, IT Platform Division, NEC Corporation.



(*) According to NEC data comparing the existing model, SX-9, with the new model.

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