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Model - NEC, Supercomputer, SX4, 1997 Object Reg. No: HT 3150

Summary:
The NEC SX4 supercomputer was one of the world's fastest supercomputers when it was leased by the Bureau and CSIRO in 1997. The SX2 was introduced in 1985. The SX4 was introduced in three phases and it reached its optimal capacity of 104 billion calculations per second in late 1999. It was replaced by the SX5 in 2001.

The complete computer was to large to acquire so items were acquired by the Museum to indicate its size as well as its processing capacity. This model was acquired along with a door, the latter gives some indication of the size. A processor was also acquired; the final version of the SX4 had 32 processors, with 16 billion bytes of memory and over 600 billion bytes of disk space. A video describing the use of the computer was also collected.

In 1997, the Bureau of Meteorolgy and CSIRO combined resources to establish the High Performance Computing and Communications Centre (HPCCC).
Description:
* The model of SX4 supercomputer occupies an area of about one metre square. It is a series of black boxes of various shapes. Accompanying the model, which has a perspex cover, are two circuit boards, a plaque, an information sheet and a display sign. It is a 1/10 scale model.
* Dark grey metal cabinet door with matt finish with catch socket on one side. The rear is same colour with card carrier containing an installation information card in a perspex envelope. Down one side of the rear is a locking mechanism.
* Electronic circuit board with components- one of the processors from the SX4 in original cardboard storage box.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Robert Bell - High Performance Computing and Communications Centre Bureau of Meteorology & CSIRO, 2004
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 300 mm (Height), 1000 mm (Width), 1000 mm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: computing, mainframe computers, climate modelling, weather forecasting, supercomputers, digital computers
Themes this item is part of: Information & Communication Collection, Science & Measurement Collection
Primary Classification: COMPUTING & CALCULATING
Secondary Classification: Digital Computing
Tertiary Classification: supercomputers
Inscriptions: Model: NEC/SX-4:
* Plaque: This 1/10 scale model of the SX-4 Supercomputer was presented by NEC Corporation on 12th November 1997 to mark the official opening of the Joint Bureau of Meteorology /CSIRO High * Performance Computing and Communications Centre
* Plaque: NEC Supercomputer SX-4 Series (Single-node Model)
* Underneath each black block is location information of the form of a series of letters and numbers each beginning with 'NEC SX-4' and followed by one of the following: (F) 12 / (G) 10 / (F) 4 / (F) 13 / (C) / 1 / (H) 8 / (E) 11 / (D) 6 / (I) 2 / (1) 3 / (G) 9
* Display sign: NEC Supercomputer SX-4 Series / (Single-node Model)
* Underneath display sign: NEC SX-4 (NAME PLATE) 20
* Circuit board on frame: NEC / 3M-TEXTOOL / 7816-1860 / (identification on component obscured deliberately)
* Circuit board: (identification on component obscured deliberately)
Door:
* Front: SX-4
* Sticky label on rear: (text) No. 00106
* Card: XMU /SIOP(B) LOCATION /(text and diagrams)
Manufacturer: NEC, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 1997

It is assumed the model was constructed in Australia.

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