Cray ECOphlex(TM) Technology Enables Extreme Performance While Reducing Energy CostsSEATTLE, WA, Aug 28, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) today unveiled
a revolutionary liquid cooling technology that will allow computers
to operate at unprecedented speeds of multiple petaflops (thousands
of trillions of calculations per second) while delivering significant
energy savings and installation flexibility. Cray XT5 systems will
begin shipping with the company's new ECOphlex (PHase-change Liquid
EXchange) technology later this year.
Cray has been a leader in power and cooling technologies, including
liquid cooling, since the Cray-1 supercomputer in 1976. The new
ECOphlex technology promotes energy savings by enabling greater system
density, reducing the need for expensive air cooling and air
conditioners, and limiting the need for chilled water.
"IDC research shows that power and cooling efficiency, and system
density, are among the top concerns of high performance computing
(HPC) buyers today. Escalating system sizes and sharply rising
energy costs are contributing to these concerns," said Earl Joseph,
IDC program vice president for HPC. "ECOphlex technology is designed
to alleviate these issues for high-end HPC users and could be an
important differentiator for Cray as they prepare to enter the
petascale computing era."
"Most large computers today exhaust heat into the air, and then the
Computer Room Air Conditioner [CRAC] units have to remove the heat
from the air and put it into chilled water. This method is very
inefficient. For a petascale system, the area taken up by the CRAC
units could exceed the computer footprint, wasting precious
datacenter space and energy," said Cray Chief Technology Officer
Steve Scott. "Other systems use chilled water coils embedded in each
computer cabinet and sometimes even embedded invasively into the
compute blades. With ECOphlex technology, you still use chilled
water, but much less of it. And because of our unique engineering,
you don't need to worry about water condensation or leakage that
could harm electronic components. The combination of our ECOphlex
technology, unprecedented upgradeability and environmentally-friendly
design philosophy, makes Cray systems the industry-leading 'green'
The ECOphlex technology is designed to be "room air neutral," meaning
that the temperature of the air entering the system is roughly the
same as the temperature of the air exiting the system. In a recent
test at a government site, ECOphlex technology removed 100% of the
Cray's new high-efficiency cabinet with ECOphlex technology has the
flexibility to use either the company's high-efficiency vertical air
cooling or the new liquid evaporative phase-change cooling technology
that converts an inert coolant, R134a, from a liquid to a gas. Systems
with the ECOphlex technology also have the flexibility to use chilled
or unchilled water at various temperatures, reducing the need for
many CRAC units. The technology's phase change coil is more than 10
times as efficient at removing heat from the compute cabinets as a
water coil of similar size.
According to Scott, "Attempts to improve energy efficiency often
involve lower-power processors or reducing the frequencies of standard
processors. But this requires more processors to achieve a given
performance level, which reduces performance efficiency. And since
many application codes have limited scalability, this strategy can
reduce an HPC system's breadth-of-applicability, making it a more
limited-purpose machine. ECOphlex technology allows HPC sites, large
or small, to enter the muli-petaflops era, tackle the most daunting
science and engineering problems, and apply large numbers of
high-performance processors at industry-leading densities while
achieving strong energy efficiencies on a broad spectrum of
"In addition to its cooling technologies, Cray continues to provide
environmentally friendly, multi-generational cabinets to our
customers, most of whom have already upgraded two or three times in
the same cabinets for a dramatic TCO advantage," said Ian Miller,
senior vice president of sales and marketing at Cray. "All too
often, buying the next-generation supercomputer from a vendor
requires a forklift upgrade replacement of the cabinets. The HPC
buyer bears the substantial added cost of the new cabinets, and the
'old' cabinets often have to be trucked off at some cost to a
landfill, with a negative environmental impact."
About Cray Inc.
As a global leader in supercomputing, Cray provides highly advanced
supercomputers and world-class services and support to government,
industry and academia. Cray technology enables scientists and
engineers to achieve remarkable breakthroughs by accelerating
performance, improving efficiency and extending the capabilities of
their most demanding applications. Cray's Adaptive Supercomputing
vision will result in innovative next-generation products that
integrate diverse processing technologies into a unified
architecture, allowing customers to surpass today's limitations and
meeting the market's continued demand for realized performance. Go to
www.cray.com for more information.
Cray is a registered trademark, and ECOphlex, Cray XT5, and Cray-1
are trademarks of Cray Inc.
SOURCE: Cray Inc.