Another interesting aspect is the distribution of the Japanese TOP500 systems into the application areas. 34 systems are installed at research laboratories and account for 718.023 GFlops/s. 20 systems are installed in the academic sector and account for 309.838 GFlops/s. The classified sector plays traditionally no major role in Japan with just 1 system with 3.800 GFlops/s. The vendors have pushed 7 systems into this list with impressive 140.220 GFlops/s mainly for benchmarking purposes.
Let us look in more detail at the 11 TOP500 systems employed by the Japanese industry. A large proportion of these systems is supplied by CRI probably because of the wider software range available. The industrial systems are smaller on average and account for 61.669 GFlops/s. Traditionally, the automotive industry takes the biggest share of supercomputers in the Japanese industry. Suzuki Motor uses a Hitachi S-3800/260 system, Toyota enjoys the variety of a NEC SX-3/14R, a Cray T94/4 and a Fujitsu VPP500/4, Honda uses a Cray T94/3, and finally Nippon Denso - also a company in the automotive sector - uses a Cray T94/2. It is interesting to note that the first 3 Cray T90 systems in Japan were installed in the automotive sector. Fuji Heavy Industry still uses the VP2600 as well as Taisei Construction. Obayashi Corp. continues with its NEC SX- 3/21R system. The Japanese industry started also to use MPP systems. An IBM SP2/72 system is installed in the nuclear power industry. Mitsubishi Electric Corp. is using a Cray T3D system with 64 processors.
From a European perspective it has to be recognized that only one European system is listed in the TOP500 list for Japan: a Parsytec GC PowerPlus system with 128 processors installed at the Japan Institute of Advanced Technology. In Japan the trend to buy IBM SP2 or SGI PowerChallenge systems in institutes and departments is also clearly visible. Many systems of these types have been installed and take over workload that originally was performed on supercomputers. Many of these systems are not listed in the TOP500 because they have only few processors that result in a Rmax performance less than the entry level for the TOP500.
When one compares the situation of today with the market several years ago, one recognizes that systems like the entry-level models of the Fujitsu VP2000, NEC SX-3 or Hitachi S-3000 series were not only used for typical vector applications but also for general purpose workload. At that time the scalar performance of these systems was also attractive for general purpose applications. Today, mainly highly vectorized applications represent the workload on the big vector computer sites. The general-purpose workload has moved to cheaper systems based on standard RISC processors. This effect is one reason for the decrease of the number of vector sites in the TOP500 list. On the other hand, the performance of the 'real' vector sites grew significantly. The result is that fewer vector sites represent a bigger share of the aggregate performance in Japan.