A vector computer is a computer equipped with an array ofmicroprocessors that simultaneously process subprocesses. Unlike the parallel computer, each processor of the vector computer has its own memory areas and executes subprocesses that feed into the overall process.
Vector computers are particularly well suited for the fast execution of mathematical programs, whereby the data processing operations are linked together in the form of vector arithmetic. In terms of concept, vector computers are distinguished between the pipeline computer and the field computer.
In the pipelined concept, which is based on pipelining, the simultaneous processing of several machine instructions takes place at different processing levels. The instructions are broken down into sub-instructions and processed overlapping in separate processors. All processors are simultaneously involved in the processing of the instructions in all processing stages via the pipeline. To shorten the processing time, the partial commands to be processed are already present at the processors when the previous partial command has not yet been processed. The information is passed on from one subprocess to the next.
In the field computer, data processing takes place in parallel in an array of n processors. Field computers execute their commands simultaneously and are controlled by a central control processor. The functional units of the array are interconnected via internal buses and can jointly and simultaneously process, transport and store related data.
As supercomputers, high- performance vector computers have storage capacities of several terabytes( TB), and their computing power is several tera FLOPS.