NEC Launches World's Fastest Computer
Long-time computer maker NEC is set to launch their greatest supercomputer ever. This is not your average PC so don't expect to line up at your local electronics store to purchase one of these ultra fast computers. This computer stands about as tall as the average person, and so it is not a legitimate choice for your next desktop PC. NEC is calling this computer the SX-9, which is part of their SX-series of vector computers. This vector supercomputer is capable of a maximum processing performance of 839 TFLOPS (TeraFLOPS), and a shared memory of 1 TB.
What is a FLOPS? FLOPS is an acronym which stands for FLoating point Operations Per Second. The prefix "tera" stands for 1 x 1012 FLOPS. It's basically a measure of how fast a computer performs the desired instructions. As a comparison, a basic calculator operates at about 10 FLOPS, and a PS3 operates at about 2 TFLOPS. The previous fastest computer in the world, the IBM Blue Gene/L, ran at a maximum performance of 280.6 TFLOPS. Enough with the "computer jargon", you get the idea.
NEC says that the SX-9 will be used for various scientific applications. A few of these applications will be: meteorologists and weather forecasting, fluid dynamics and environmental simulation, and simulations in nanotechnology and polymeric design. NEC claims that they have already received over a thousand pre-orders, from the scientific community, for the SX-9 computers. NEC has scheduled a release date for March, 2008.
All of this computing power comes at a cost; a very high cost! NEC has not released a purchase price for the SX-9, but I was able to dig up the price for renting one of these machines. Rental prices for the SX-9 will reportedly cost $26,043 per month! The SX-9 supercomputer will be showcased in Reno, Nevada November 10-16.