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Basic Design of Japanese supercomputers

Based on the success of the Cray-1 and the CDC Cyber 205, the Japanese decided in the late seventies to start producing their own vector-based supercomputers which were initially oriented towards parallel pipelines featuring multiple floating-point units always governed by one control processor. With the advent of the latest generation of systems these supercomputers have added the dimension of multiprocessing and even distributed memory parallel processing. The change logically follows from the fact that only computing problems with long vectors and the right mix of floating-point instructions could expect to move towards peak performance in the early versions of these supercomputers.

Multiprocessing adds a dimension of versatility to the hardware, but the price to pay is added complexity in the software requiring the basic operating system, the compilers, the libraries, and the applications to be made aware of this architectural feature. The complexity becomes even greater in Fujitsu's latest Vector-Parallel system which tries to combine the established advantages of vector supercomputing with the more adventurous dimension of distributed memory parallel processors.
Fri Jun 3 12:02:18 MDT 1994