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Cray in Japan

Cray has operated in Japan since 1980. Fifteen years later, over 30 systems are in use, mainly in commercial organisations. Cray successively installed Cray-1, X-MP, Cray-2 and Y-MP systems but today most of the Japanese Cray entries in the TOP500 list (11 in total) is made up of C90 and T3D installations. The installed systems are often not the top of the range and 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 with little or no discount (whereas most domestic systems are leased) . 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 such application access was for many years demonstrated by the Japanese car manufacturers that acquired Cray systems to run PAM-crash for crash simulation. In spite of the relatively limited 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 exist for the Cray. The top Cray models in Japan are the recently installed Y-MP C916 at MITI's AIST (Agency of Industrial Science and Technology) Lab in Tsukuba and the first Cray T3D MC128 that was installed at the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation outside Tokyo. The Cray Y-MP/8 installed at the Institute of Fluid Science at the Tohoku University is being exchanged with a C916 and Mitsubishi Electric has acquired a T3D MC-64 which is the most powerful Cray system installed in Japanese industry.
Tue Nov 14 15:13:46 PST 1995