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Cray Launches the Cray XE6 SuperComputer

By DE Editors

Cray Inc. has officially launched the company’s next generation of high-end supercomputing systems, the Cray XE6 supercomputer. Attendees at the 2010 Cray User Group (CUG) meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland witnessed the formal introduction of the new supercomputer, which combines the company’s new Gemini interconnect with AMD Opteron processors to bring production petascale computing to an expanded base of high performance computing (HPC) users.

“Today’s unveiling of the Cray XE6 supercomputer marks a significant milestone for the company, as we launch an entirely new high performance computing system built on years of innovation and hard work by Cray employees company-wide,” says Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray. “This is an exciting day for the company and for our customers around the world who have been eagerly awaiting the new Cray XE6 supercomputer—a system capable of scaling to more than a million processing cores. We are proud to have already secured more than $200 million in contracts for this system and are even more excited about our opportunity to give researchers, scientists, and engineers around the world a next-generation tool for solving next-generation problems.”

A number of leading HPC centers worldwide have signed contracts with Cray to purchase Cray XE6 supercomputers, formerly code-named “Baker.” These centers include the Korea Meteorological Administration and the United States Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC). Cray also won a contract to provide three Cray XE6 supercomputers to the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, and the U.S Army Engineer Research and Development Center as part of the Department of Defense’s High Performance Computing Modernization Program. Additional Cray XE6 supercomputer customers include the National Nuclear Security Administration (in a joint partnership with Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which is the managing agent for the High-End Computing Terascale Resource (HECToR) project located at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through a partnership with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The XE6’s new Gemini interconnect is designed to change and improve how Cray supercomputers move data across the system, according to the company. Designed to support multi-core processors with a 100-fold improvement in messaging rates and a three-fold reduction in latency, the Gemini interconnect also includes hardware support for a global user address space.

Upgradeable from a Cray XT5 and Cray XT6 system, the Cray XE6 supercomputer also features improved network resiliency, a mature scalable software ecosystem, and the third version of the Cray Linux Environment, which was announced in April.

The Cray XE6 supercomputer is expected to be available early in the third quarter of 2010.

For more information, visit the Cray XE6 supercomputer page.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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