In April 1983, NEC announced the first supercomputer to exceed 1 gigaFLOPS (1 billion floating point operations per second)—NEC supercomputer SX-2. This machine used 4 sets of high-performance vector operation pipelines (with up to a maximum of 16 arithmetic units) capable of multiple/parallel operation, and also used state-of-the-art technology such as new LSI high-density packages employing Japan's first direct liquid cooling system. This system achieved an ultra high-speed machine cycle of 6 nanoseconds, and were the world's fastest at 1.3 gigaFLOPS. At the same time, NEC supercomputer SX-1, which had a maximum speed of 570 megaFLOPS (million floating point operations per second) was also announced.
They used ultra high-speed LSI, including: logic elements with a delay time per gate of 250 picoseconds and 1,000 gates per chip, and memory elements with an access time of 3.5 nanoseconds and 1 kilobit per chip.
The vector operation pipeline system was a hardware architecture suitable for efficient, high-speed processing of SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) instructions for executing iterative operations described with a DO loop in a single instruction. This dramatically improved arithmetic performance, and the system was used in a variety of fields ranging from nuclear fusion and molecular science research, to aircraft and automobile design, and scientific applications like weather forecasting.
|Announcement date||April 1983|
|Maximum vector operation performance||570MFLOPS||1.3GFLOPS|
Number of arithmetic processors
Main memory capacity
|Main memory capacity||64/128/256MB||128/256MB|
|Number of input/output processors:
Overall data transfer speed
Number of input/output channels