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Cray Gets Supercomputing Orders from National Nuclear Security Administration and Center for Atmospheric Research

By DE Editors

Cray Inc. has signed a sub-contract with Los Alamos National Security, LLC to provide the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) with a next-generation Cray supercomputer. Currently valued at more than $45 million, the multi-year, multi-phase contract can be expanded if the NNSA exercises an option for a future upgrade. The new system will create a new supercomputing platform, named Cielo, for the Advanced Simulation and Computing program at the NNSA.

The Cielo platform will support all three of the NNSA national laboratories, which include Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The NNSA will use the new supercomputing system to ensure the safety, security, and effectiveness of the United States’ nuclear stockpile, and will run the NNSA’s largest and most demanding modeling and simulation workload.

“Cielo is being acquired and deployed by the NNSA’s New Mexico Alliance for Computing at Extreme Scales (ACES). This is a joint partnership between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. Both Los Alamos and Sandia have a long history with Cray, going back to the very beginning of the supercomputing era,” says John Morrison, High Performance Computing division leader at Los Alamos. “With the Cielo platform, that history continues with the next generation of capability computing in support of the U.S. nuclear security enterprise.”

The next-generation Cray supercomputer will be housed at the Strategic Computing Complex at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and is expected to be delivered in the second half of 2010.  Code-named “Baker,” Cray’s new supercomputing system will feature a new interconnect chipset known as “Gemini” and enhanced system software that improves the performance, productivity, and reliability of the system. Cray’s planned “Baker” supercomputer builds on the Cray XT system architecture found in the world’s fastest supercomputer and improves it in every key dimension, according to the company.

In related news, after an eight-year hiatus, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) has become a Cray customer once again with an order for a Cray XT5m supercomputing system. NCAR purchased the first production Cray-1A supercomputer in 1976, and continued to perform scientific research on various Cray supercomputing systems for more than 25 years.

NCAR’s new Cray XT5m midrange supercomputer, nicknamed “Lynx,” will be installed in NCAR’s Computational and Information Systems Laboratory (CISL) in Boulder, CO, later this month. “Lynx” will be used primarily as a development and test platform for CISL and NCAR users who also have access to larger Cray XT supercomputers located at other institutions, including the petascale “Jaguar” and “Kraken” Cray XT5 systems housed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the “Franklin” Cray XT4 system at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.

For more information, visit Cray.

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

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