Intel, NEC team up to flex supercomputing might

Both companies will jointly develop high-performance computing systems based on Intel processor to extend products to wider audience, say executives.

Intel and NEC will team up to develop high performance computing (HPC) system technologies, also known as supercomputing, to be based on Intel's Xeon processor.

According to an announcement Tuesday, the collaboration is intended to bring Intel's Xeon chip to a wider supercomputing audience.

Richard Dracott, general manager of the chipmaker's high performance group, said in a statement that Intel has made "significant investment" to expand the usage of its Xeon processors in both the volume and high-end HPC market segments.

"Now with NEC further innovating on Intel Xeon processor-based systems, Intel is poised to bring Xeon processor performance to an even wider supercomputing audience," said Dracott.

The Xeon processor is the chipmaker's supercomputing version of its Nehalem-EX chip--the six-core Xeon is touted to run faster than eight-core versions of Nehalem-EX. Intel said it offers greater memory speeds and capacity, allowing customers to build single computers with up to 256 such processors.

Fumihiko Hisamitsu, general manager of HPC division at NEC--Japan's largest supercomputer vendor--noted that the company's experience in the development of vector processing systems is a "natural fit" for introducing Intel architecture into new markets, and making a deeper impression there.

"NEC will enrich its HPC product portfolio through this collaboration as well as continuous enhancement of its vector supercomputer," said Hisamitsu.

Both companies will turn their immediate attention to developing hardware and software solutions to enhance the memory bandwidth and scalability of the Intel Xeon-based platforms. "This will benefit systems targeting not only the high-end scientific computing market segment, but the smaller HPC installations too," stated both parties.

Meanwhile, NEC plans to continue selling its existing SX vector processor-based products, such as its SX-9 supercomputer. Enterprises that deploy supercomputers include non-profit organizations and businesses in the oil and gas exploration industry, which use these systems to speed up the time taken for running research and testing.