What is a vector computer?

A vector computer has an ISA and CPU architecture that enable efficient operations on array data. This goes under the name of Single Instruction Multiple Data (SIMD). SIMD features have proliferated in commodity CPUs as well, but a true vector CPU has features that make it more efficient, such as large vector lengths (e.g., 256 elements) and a high memory bandwidth (e.g., 1.5 Tbyte/s). Currently, only NEC offers a true vector processor, the SX-Aurora Tsubasa. A node with two Tsubasa cards is available in the NHR test and benchmark cluster.