NEC launches a new vector supercomputer model “SX-Aurora TSUBASA”
NEC Corporation will launch the new “SX-Aurora TSUBASA C401-8” for data centers in a vector supercomputer “SX-Aurora TSUBASA” which offers 2.5 times the computing performance and twice the power efficiency of previous models.
In this product, the number of cores has been increased from the previous 10 cores to 16 cores, and a new L3 cache has been adopted to achieve faster computing performance. In addition, the adoption of state-of-the-art processes has improved energy efficiency.
The new system will be used for large-scale scientific computing at the Tohoku University Science Center (Tohoku University). Tohoku University is expected to start operating the system in August 2023, with a total of 4,032 vector engines (VEs) and a total theoretical computing performance of about 21 PFLOPS (petaflops), making it the supercomputer system best performing vector in the world.
Tohoku University has already adopted previous versions of the SX series for a wide variety of applications in various fields, including manufacturing, such as the design of aircraft and power generation turbines, where numerical simulation large-scale fluids plays an important role. Other applications include disaster mitigation simulation, such as predicting damage from tsunamis or river flooding. This is in addition to useful simulations for everyday life, such as assessing the risk of heatstroke. Additionally, the university has begun to explore the applications of quantum computing with the help of the SX series, and in the future, Tohoku University will continue to expand its contributions to a wide range of research and of development.
The German weather agency “Deutscher Wetterdienst” (DWD) has also evaluated the energy efficiency of this system and is expected to introduce it in September 2023 with the aim of increasing its weather forecasting system.
In recent years, the role of information in society has evolved rapidly, and supercomputers are now being used to help solve social problems such as predicting disasters and changing energy needs.
In this context, there is an increased need for a next-generation, energy-efficient computing infrastructure capable of analyzing more sophisticated problems and processing large amounts of diverse data.
In this context, NEC has developed a new energy-saving SX-Aurora TSUBASA that integrates a large number of board-type EVs that combine LSI technologies and high-density packaging technologies, as well as high-efficiency cooling technologies. that NEC has cultivated over the years. many years of supercomputer development.
The main features of the new system are:
1. Improved computing performance (2.5 times compared to conventional systems)
The number of processor cores has increased from 10 to 16, while memory bandwidth has been improved by 1.6 times and memory capacity has been increased by 2 times compared to the existing model. Additionally, the new user-popular L3 caching system marks the first time that the SX series double-mounts the last-level cache, helping to speed up compute performance by 2.5 times over to conventional products.
2. Achievement of high energy efficiency (twice as high as conventional models)
In addition to high performance, the new system offers high power efficiency that has been doubled compared to conventional products, making it well suited to address recent power issues of supercomputer systems in data centers.
3. Continued use of traditional SX-Aurora TSUBASA programming assets
This system can run the applications used in the existing SX-Aurora TSUBASA as is. Moreover, the programs are automatically optimized according to the data center model and can be accelerated simply by compiling Fortran and C/C++ programs, without requiring any special programming.
“Tohoku University Cyber Science Center has been using vector supercomputers since the introduction of ‘SX-1’ in 1986. The current ‘AOBA’ supercomputer, which has been in operation since October 2020, is also based on the ‘SX -Aurora TSUBASA’ and has been used by a wide variety of people with consistently high usage rates. In order to meet this high demand, we have decided to introduce a new generation of SX-Aurora TSUBASA. With this new generation , the Center will continue to contribute to the advancement of science and technology in an even wider and more diverse range of fields,” said Professor Takuo Suganuma, Director of the Center for Cyberscience at Tohoku University.
“In addition to the recently announced “SX-Aurora TSUBASA” data center model, NEC will continue to promote systems suitable for customer environments, including on-premises models, edge models and vector engines. Through these efforts, we aim to expand the use of vector supercomputers and actively contribute to solving the problems of society and the market,” said Yasuo Mogaki, General Manager, Advanced Platform Division, NEC Corporation.
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