[C&C for Human Potential / NEC Corporation]

Press Release
                         Chris Shimizu
                         NEC Corporation
                         TEL    :81-3-3798-6511
                         FAX    :81-3-3457-7249
                         E-mail :Shimizu@p10-22150.star.nec.co.jp

*****	For Immediate Use January 21, 1998

Development of the World's Fastest Ultra Computer for Resolving Environmental Problems on the Earth

~ NEC Awarded a Contract for Basic Design of Ultra-fast Parallel Processing Computer for Earth Simulator ~

The image of the Earth Simulator

NEC announced today to develop the world fastest ultra computer with the maximum performance of over 32 tera FLOPS (Note 1) as a part of the Earth Simulator Program promoted by Science and Technology Agency in Japan.

The role intended for the Earth Simulator is to make a contribution to resolving the problems of the global environment, and to establishing countermeasures against natural disasters and catastrophes. The ultra-fast parallel computer will achieve its task to investigate and simulate the processes by which global changes are occurring through realizing a "virtual earth," a representation of the complex variety of global phenomena on the computer.

The Earth Simulator is an ultra computer with approximately a thousand times the execution speed of the existing computers employed in the meteorological and environmental fields. Its development is scheduled reach completion in the year 2002.

The Earth Simulator will open new possibilities in analyzing and predicting climate change on a global scale and in interpreting and forecasting the long-term deformation of the solid earth. By utilizing data from the earth observation satellites, the Earth Simulator will make an outstanding contribution to attempts to resolve the problems of the global environment in the service of sustained and sustainable social-economic development through the precise forecasting and predicting of global phenomena such as global warming, atmospheric and marine pollution, the El NiEL ninoo weather, torrential rainfall and icy precipitation (hailstone). 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.

The Earth Simulator is expected to have a maximum performance capability of over 32 tera FLOPS and a main memory capacity of over four tera (four trillion) bytes. To achieve this, the most advanced hardware technology available at the beginning of 21st century will be harnessed in a program designed to connect in parallel thousands of vector type CPUs with a performance capability several times that of the existing supercomputer.

NEC has been selected to develop the basic design as a result of its past conceptual designs and technical proposals. The selection process was open to major manufacturers around the world.

The award of the present contract for the basic design of the ultra computer underscores the commitment and contribution Japan as a nation has accepted in serving the nation, and the world in general, in finding a solution to the problems of the global environment as an issue of the greatest urgency to the survival of mankind. 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. This project will provide an opportunity for NEC to strengthen its development of leading edge technologies and marketing of its SX-4 Series on an even broader basis than in the past. Toward this goal, NEC will concentrate the full thrust of its corporate strength to the further development of leading-edge technology.


1.Tera FLOPS is a trillion floating point operations per second.

[Copyright(C) NEC Corporation 1998. NEC and C&C are trademarks of NEC Corporation.]