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Cray in Japan

Cray has operated in Japan since 1980. Fourteen years later, over 30 systems are in use, mainly in commercial organisations. Cray successively installed Cray-1, X-MP, and Cray-2 systems but by now most of the Cray customers in Japan have moved to more modern Y-MP models. Relatively few systems have the largest possible configuration and quite a few entry level systems with only one or two processors have been sold. There could be two reasons for this. One might be the fact that Cray's prices are considered high, especially given that the systems must be purchased (most domestic systems are leased) with little or no discount. The other explanation might be that the prime need of the Japanese is to get access to applications that run only on the Cray, without a need for the maximum CPU capacity. A clear need for application access is, for instance, demonstrated by the Japanese car manufacturers that have acquired Cray systems to run PAM-crash for car crash simulation.

In spite of the relatively small penetration of Cray systems in Japan, they are nevertheless considered as prestigious systems for several reasons. The Cray computers are architecturally very well balanced, UNICOS is seen as a very mature supercomputer operating system and most importantly, a large number of applications (more than 600) exist for the Cray.

With the Cray Y-MP/8 now installed at the Institute of Fluid Science at the Tohoku University, and the recent announcement of the upgrade to a C90/916 at MITI's AIST (Agency of Industrial Science and Technology) Lab in Tsukuba and the first Cray╩ T3D installation which will take place at the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation outside Tokyo, Cray is beginning to get a stronger foothold in the academic research segment.
Fri Jun 3 12:02:18 MDT 1994