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Processor & Equipment - NEC, Supercomputer, SX5, circa 2001 Object Reg. No: HT 3153

Summary:
The NEC SX5 supercomputer was one of the world's fastest supercomputers when it was leased by the Bureau and CSIRO in 2001. The previous machine, the SX4, was introduced in several phases. The Bureau and CSIRO had two SX5 with a total of 32 processors (allowing 256 billion calculations per second, 224 billion bytes of main memory and two million million bytes of disk space. The SX5 was replaced by the SX6 in June 2004.

In 1997, the Bureau of Meteorolgy and CSIRO combined resources to establish the High Performance Computing and Communications Centre (HPCCC).

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 processor and equipment (carrying case, mounting tool and key) were acquired along with three doors, the latter gives some indication of the size of the computer. A memory circuit board and a lengthened screwdriver were also acquired. The screwdriver was lengthened by staff because there was no screwdriver on the market long enough to reach screws in some of the modules.
Description:
Processor: Finned electronic device
Carrying case for Processor: Silver metal lockable carrying case
Mounting tool for Processor: Metal device with grip attachments
Key for Processor
Cabinet Door: Curved purple front with 13 curved perspex horizontal ribs below inscription. Rear is grey coloured and has a printed label and a card holder containing 4 perspex envelopes enclosing installation instructions. One holder contains 2 sheets, one with one sheet and two with 4 sheets each. There is also an empty card holder lower than the filled one.
Cabinet Door with mirror : Rectangular metal panel with brushed aluminium finish with truncated triangle of mirror polished metal down one side. The rear has a grey finish with a card holder containing a single perspex envelope enclosing one installation card.
Cabinet Door with mirror: Rectangular metal panel with brushed aluminium finish with truncated triangle of mirror polished metal down one side. The rear has a grey finish with a card holder containing a single perspex envelope enclosing one installation card.
Memory Circuit Board.
Screwdriver: Green handle with yellow price tag label stuck on handle. Screwdriver has been soldered together in two parts to create a longer screwdriver.
Statement Of Significance:
The SX4, SX5 and the SX6 are the direct heirs and natural succesors to CSIRAC, which was used for similar activities. CSIRAC was used to produce what could be the first 24 hour weather forecast in Australia.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Robert Bell - High Performance Computing and Communications Centre Bureau of Meteorology & CSIRO, 2004
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 170 mm (Height), 260 mm (Width)
Dimension Comment: Dimensions of Carrying Case are: W = 425 H = 420 D = 355 mm

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: Processor: AA070408VN/(text)
Carrying case for Processor: PAS1250MCP/TRUNK/NEC(Japanese characters)
Mounting tool for Processor: SC-DZSJH-2
Key for Processor
Cabinet Door: Front: SX-5/Supercomputer System Label on rear: MEM OUT(underlined) - 1) OPEN (Cam) / 2) Loosen 2 x Screws / MEM IN(underlined) - 2)(handwritten) 1)(crossed out) CLOSE (Cam) / 1)(handwritten) 2)(crossed out) Tighten 2 x Screws Cards: (see images)
Cabinet Door with Mirror: None
Cabinet Door with Mirror: None
Memory Circuit Board: (text)
Screwdriver: On handle: ROTHENBERGER/No2.200/341.220 On Price tag: 989/$14.90
Manufacturer: NEC, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, circa 2001

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