Japan Railroad Simulator

Project Goals

Sunrise was asked to create a faster than real time simulator for 1,100 km (700 mi.) Shinkansen train system with a million passenger per day capacity.

Sunrise Solution

  • Designed massively parallel real time computing system
  • Designed and develop a programming language to allow end-client programming of the system
  • Simulation to be accurate to +/-2 seconds per day
  • Developed architecture and programming tools
  • Implemented system with a combination of hardware and software
  • Provided 32,000 virtual processors using "only" 60 physical Power PC RISC microprocessors

Design Notes:
  • Approach was not only cost effective in hardware, but our proprietary programming language was simple enough for customer to develop and maintain most of the domain specific code
  • Our system design: computer architecture, programming language, user interfaces, and, electronics and firmware design, enabled a breakthrough application
  • PIM used in each of the two largest Simulations included 60 PowerPC 604e processors


  • System in use today to plan capacity and train schedules on a daily basis
  • Simulated schedules fall within 2 seconds of actual operation for an entire day
  • Simulation details coded by the customer using tools developed and provided by Sunrise Labs's subsidiary Flavors Technology including Flavors PIM and Paracell programming language
  • Cost effective in hardware and simple for customer to develop and maintain most of the domain specific code