Japan's NEC announced a version of itsthat can calculate 16 billion floating point operations per second but is small enough to sit under a desk. The new SX-8i is slated to ship in February 2006 with a price tag of $109,000 for a baseline model. Measuring 118 inches high by 28 inches wide by 28 inches deep, the SX-8i runs on a single-chip vector processor and supports a built-in hard drive with a maximum capacity of 146GB.
Vector systems are well-suited for mathematical tasks that crop up often in scientific and technical calculations. A collection of vector systems hooked together to work in parallel is what makes up the Earth Simulator, an NEC machine that ranks fourth on a list of the. NEC said it hopes to ship 300 of the new systems over the next three years to companies that specialize in aeronautics, civil engineering and automotive design.