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NEC to provide JAMSTEC with the SX-Aurora TSUBASA vector supercomputer for the "Next Earth Simulator"

- Accelerating research and development in marine-earth science and creating new information -

Tokyo, September 25, 2020 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) today announced it will provide the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC) with a large-scale system that uses the SX-Aurora TSUBASA vector supercomputer. JAMSTEC is scheduled to begin operating the new system in March 2021 as part of the "Next Earth Simulator" project for research and development across the marine and earth sciences.

Specifically, the new multi-architecture system is expected to contribute to research and development related to the global environment, marine resources, marine earthquakes and volcanic activities, as well as the creation, analysis and coordination of enormous amounts of data in a highly efficient manner. The results of these efforts are expected to help resolve policy issues and contribute to the development of a sustainable socio-economic system that capitalizes on high performance computing infrastructure (HPCI).

The new system is expected to further accelerate research in the field of marine-earth science through computational resources that include a maximum theoretical performance of 19.5 petaflops (*1) centered on 684 units of SX-Aurora TSUBASA B401-8, equipped with a total of 5,472 vector engines (*2), which is approximately 15 times the performance of existing systems. Moreover, the system consumes almost the same amount of power, while requiring approximately half of the installation area.

In addition, the new system makes it possible to perform more complex and larger-scale simulations at high speed, which was difficult using conventional methods. This is expected to contribute to solving global environmental issues, helping to discover causal relationships, such as that between crustal movements and earthquakes, and assisting with countermeasures against natural disasters.

The SX-Aurora TSUBASA B401-8 is designed with cutting-edge technologies, including an energy-saving server technology that incorporates large numbers of card-type vector engines combining LSI technology, high-density mounting technology and high-efficiency cooling technology created by NEC over many years in the field of supercomputer development. It offers world-class single-core performance and single-core memory bandwidth, which is ideal for high speed processing of scientific calculations and large-scale data. As a result, it delivers highly sustained performance for AI and HPC applications, such as climate change projection, climate modeling, fluid analysis, nanotechnology, and the development of new materials.

Going forward, NEC will continue to leverage its vector technologies to promote the development of next-generation high-performance servers as a foundation for industrial applications and the utilization of AI/big data domains, in addition to conventional supercomputer application domains, and contributing to the development of cutting-edge technologies.


  • (*1)
  • (*2)
    Next Earth Simulator configuration
    This is a new concept for multi-architecture consisting of SX-Aurora TSUBASA and other vendors' products.
    Cooperating manufacturers: EPYC (CPUs) manufactured by AMD, large-capacity storage units manufactured by DDN, GPU (accelerator)/InfiniBand (network) by NVIDIA, high-efficiency learning/general-purpose computing node servers by HPE

    Please see the appendix for endorsements from each manufacturer.

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