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Vector supercomputers
April 1974 (vol. 7 no. 4)
pp. 52-61
D. J. Theis, Aerospace Corporation
“Supercomputer” is a generic term which could apply to various machines depending on the criteria used. However, only a few computers today have the following characteristics and/or capabilities: • The machine can directly access very large amounts of memory (i.e., 10M-100M bits) and execute meaningful scalar instructions at very high speeds (i.e., 10M-100M instructions per second). • The high precision computations execute in a Floating Point Arithmetic Unit with either 60- or 64-bit data word formats. • Special hardware implementation techniques are employed to obtain better memory bandwidth and simultaneous I/O operations. • Within the CPU organization of these machines, pipelined execution and look-ahead hardware are used to achieve very fast arithmetic operation times (much less than 1 μsec for 64-bit operand multiplication). • An operational supercomputer system costs over $10 million today; the price varies depending on the peripherals and auxiliary storage devices included and on the accounting procedures used in costing the installation.
Citation:
D. J. Theis, "Vector supercomputers," Computer, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 52-61, April 1974, doi:10.1109/MC.1974.6323500
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