[C&C for Human Potential / NEC Corporation]

Press Release
                        Chris Shimizu
                        NEC Corporation
                        TEL   :81-3-3798-6511
                        FAX   :81-3-3457-7249

*****	For Immediate Use May 30, 2000

World's Most Powerful Ultra Computer Being Manufactured to Resolve Global Environmental Problems

[Earth Simulator]
of the ultra-high-speed parallel computing system,
"Earth Simulator"

NEC today announced receipt of an order for the manufacture of the ultra-high-speed parallel computing system known as the Earth Simulator. The Earth Simulator is being developed as a project of the Earth Simulator Research and Development Centerc (ESRDC). ESRDC is a collaboration of the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA), Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI), and Japan Marine Science and Technology Center (JAMSTEC).

The Earth Simulator project is designed to enable environmental research through analysis and simulation of the global environment through the realization of a "virtual planet earth" that will enable accurate modeling of geophysical, climate and weather related phenomena. To achieve this level of simulation capability, the Science and Technology Agency of Japan (STA) initiated the Earth Simulator Project in 1997. The goal of the project was to foster the development of a computational resource that could achieve a thousand times higher performance for meteorological, geophysical, and environmental applications compared to the then available computers.

The Earth Simulator Ultra Computer will be installed in a new building now under construction in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. It will be operational in March 2002 and is expected to be the most powerful computer in the world at that time with its maximum performance of 40 TeraFLOPS (40 trillion operations per second).

Some of the main characteristics of the Earth Simulator Ultra Computer are:

  1. State-of-the-art semiconductor technology

    The Earth Simulator VLSI uses a 0.15 micron CMOS process with copper technology. There are approximately 57 million transistors per VLSI. This level of integration enables the very low operational circuit latencies necessary to achieve world leading performance.

  2. Realization of a very large scale parallel system

    The Ultra Computer includes 640 nodes with an aggregate 5,120CPU. Each node has eight vector processors, each with 8 GigaFLOPS peak performance, for a total of 64GFLOPS per node.
    Each node has a 16GB shared memory capacity, and the complete system offers 10TB total capacity.

  3. Enhanced UNIX-based * operating system and programming development environment

    The operating system that will be used on the Earth Simulator is an enhanced version of NEC's highly regarded SUPER-UX UNIX-based operating system that was developed for NEC's SX Series supercomputers. SUPER-UX will be enhanced to provide the special features needed for the large scale of the Earth Simulator. In addition, language compilers that perform automatic parallelization and automatic vectorization, such as Fortran90, C and C++ will be included in the basic development environment. For very large-scale applications development, autoparallelizing, autovectorizing HPF will be provided as will an MPI2 message passing library.

The Earth Simulator was conceived to contribute to the resolution of global environmental problems and to establish accurate prediction of natural disasters and catastrophes. Through this process, better countermeasures can be put into place to mitigate economic and human loses caused by such events as earthquakes, typhoons, El Nino, atmospheric and marine pollution, greenhouse effects of the atmosphere, torrential rainfall and icy precipitation (hailstones), and global warming, as examples. It will also provide an outstanding research tool in explaining terrestrial phenomena such as geological changes, changes in the earth's crust, the genesis of earthquakes and the counter-current motion of the earth's mantle, and for investigating possible relationships between utilizing atomic energy and changes of global environment.

The unprecedented computational power of the Earth Simulator will enable new possibilities in the analysis of all environmentally related phenomenon. The Earth Simulator will make an outstanding contribution to resolving the problems of the global environment.

NEC was initially selected to perform the basic design work for the Ultra Computer in 1997, for the technology research and development in 1998, for detailed design work in 1999, and now for the manufacture and implementation of the system.

The beginning of the manufacturing process of the Earth Simulator Ultra Computer underscores the commitment and contribution Japan has accepted in serving the nation, and the world in general, in finding solutions to the problems of the global environment. It is a mission NEC accepts with a sense of great pride and honor in the realization of the need for a company-wide commitment to international society.

For further information on the Earth Simulator Research and Development Center visit them on the Internet at http://www.gaia.jaeri.go.jp. Information on NEC's commercial supercomputers can be found at http://www.hpc.comp.nec.co.jp/sx5/index.html



*: UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries licensed exclusively through The Open Group.

[Copyright(C) NEC Corporation 1999. NEC and C&C are trademarks of NEC Corporation.]