Thinking Machines Corp., the supercomputer maker based in Cambridge, Mass., will sign a three-year, $16 million contract today with the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington to deliver an upgrade to the lab's existing CM-5 supercomputer system.
The government research facility will use the huge parallel processing system to create more accurate weather forecasts, to research fluid dynamics in the building of aircraft and submarines, and to study ocean currents, said Danny Hillis, Thinking Machine's founding scientist.
In parallel processing, thousands of microprocessors work to solve acomputing problem. Thinking Machines is the leader in this $270 million market, with a 34 percent share.
Mr. Hillis said the contract was significant because it showed that the lab is running out of computational capacity on its existing Thinking Machines supercomputer.