Compaq Computer has signed three sizable supercomputer customers, the company announced. The Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute's Advanced Photon Research Center chose Compaq to build a 908-processor machine for research on X-ray microscopy, super-precise machining and other jobs. Compaq said it will be the largest supercomputer in Japan. Compaq also sold a 450-processor machine to the Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing, the largest system in Australia, for chemistry, physics and environmental science. The Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing, also in Australia, agreed to buy a 128-processor machine for molecular modeling and fraud detection.
Meanwhile, supercomputer stalwart Cray has begun selling its upgraded SV1ex model, which is running faster than the company expected. Cray sold the first model to the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, replacing an earlier SV1. The computer will be used to study the atmosphere, environment and geophysics of the arctic.