NEC announces new vector supercomputer

Japanese company announces SX-8R machines, a vector system tailored for mathematical operations.

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NEC has updated its vector supercomputer line, introducing the SX-8R on Tuesday. The system has twice the performance per processor as the SX-8 introduced in 2004, the company said. Vector computers, also sold by Cray, are faster at processing some types of data than mainstream "scalar" machines that dominate conventional business computing.

The SX-8R processors double the number of features for performing addition and multiplication and run at a clock speed 10 percent faster than the SX-8's chips, NEC said. The SX-8R costs a minimum of $10,200 per month to rent, and the Japanese company expects to sell 200 systems over the next year. The company also said it's begun developing its next system.