The seven major National (previously `Imperial') Universities were amongst the first sites to install Japanese supercomputers. A consolidated effort of collaboration with the three Japanese manufacturers was initiated and one observes that Tokyo and Hokkaido Universities have since the beginning been relatively faithful to Hitachi, Nagoya, Kyushu and Kyoto Universities to Fujitsu, and Osaka and Tohoku Universities to NEC. All these Universities have relatively large computer systems by Japanese standards. The three Fujitsu-influenced Universities all have VP-2600 systems. In addition Kyoto University is scheduled to receive a 16-processor VPP500 before the end of this fiscal year. Tokyo University enjoys a top of the range Hitachi S3800/480 whereas Hokkaido is about to install a S-3800/380. The Research Institute for Iron, Steel and other Metals at Tohoku University will be getting a three-processor Hitachi S-3800. Osaka University has a uniprocessor NEC SX-3 in use and Tohoku got an upgrade to a top-of-the-range NEC SX-3/44R installed as part of this year's governmental supercomputer deployment program.
Nevertheless the well-publicised installation of a Cray Y-MP/8 at the Institute of Fluid Science in Tohoku in 1992 (a machine that will now be upgraded to a C916) signalled a more flexible attitude that has continued since. Based on this new acquisition strategy, several TMC systems and two MasPar systems have made their way into governmental institutes.
Although in a somewhat more modest way, several other universities are also present in the TOP500 list. The Nihon University employs a Hitachi S-820/80 system and the Tokai and Fukuoka Universities possess uni-processor NEC SX-3 systems. The Hosei University acquired a CM-5/32 this year. The installation of a 30 processor VPP500 at the University of Tsukuba is the first installation of this new powerful computer generation at a Japanese University. Hiroshima University has an Intel XP/A4 installed but details of its use are not known. The role of the university supercomputer installations in Japan is similar to what is seen in the Western word, i.e. provision of services to the University faculties and possible partnerships for the development of new applications software in collaboration with the computer vendors thanks the in-house easy access to academic resources.