Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Earth Simulator Computer (ESC) was the fastest supercomputer in the world from 2002 to 2004, located at the Earth Simulator Center in Kanazawa-ku (ward), Yokohama-shi, Japan. The computer is capable of 35.86 trillion (35,600,000,000,000) floating-point calculations per second, or 35.86 TFLOPS. The system was developed for NASDA, JAERI , and JAMSTEC in 1997 for climate simulation. Construction started in October 1999, was completed by February 2002, and the site officially opened on March 11, 2002. The project cost 7.2 billion yen. Earth Simulator was surpassed by IBM's Blue Gene/L prototype on September 29, 2004.
Built by NEC, the ESC is based on their SX-6 architecture. It consists of 640 nodes with eight vector processors and 16 gigabytes of computer memory at each node, for a total of 5120 processors and 10 terabytes of memory. Two nodes are installed per 1 metre x 1.4 metre x 2 metre cabinet. Each cabinet consumes 20 KVA of power. The system has 700 terabytes of disk storage (450 for the system and 250 for the users) and 1.6 petabytes of mass storage in tape drives. The ESC is almost five times faster than IBM ASCI White.
The Earth Simulator Computer is not to be confused with the videogame SimEarth.
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