Potential of a modern vector supercomputer for practical applications: performance evaluation of SX-ACE

Ryusuke Egawa, Kazuhiko Komatsu, Shintaro Momose, Yoko Isobe, Akihiro Musa, Hiroyuki Takizawa, Hiroaki Kobayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Achieving a high sustained simulation performance is the most important concern in the HPC community. To this end, many kinds of HPC system architectures have been proposed, and the diversity of the HPC systems grows rapidly. Under this circumstance, a vector-parallel supercomputer SX-ACE has been designed to achieve a high sustained performance of memory-intensive applications by providing a high memory bandwidth commensurate with its high computational capability. This paper examines the potential of the modern vector-parallel supercomputer through the performance evaluation of SX-ACE using practical engineering and scientific applications. To improve the sustained simulation performances of practical applications, SX-ACE adopts an advanced memory subsystem with several new architectural features. This paper discusses how these features, such as MSHR, a large on-chip memory, and novel vector processing mechanisms, are beneficial to achieve a high sustained performance for large-scale engineering and scientific simulations. Evaluation results clearly indicate that the high sustained memory performance per core enables the modern vector supercomputer to achieve outstanding performances that are unreachable by simply increasing the number of fine-grain scalar processor cores. This paper also discusses the performance of the HPCG benchmark to evaluate the potentials of supercomputers with balanced memory and computational performance against heterogeneous and cutting-edge scalar parallel systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3948-3976
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Supercomputing
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept 1


  • Memory bandwidth
  • Memory-intensive applications
  • Sustained performance
  • Vector architecture


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