System Built on Cray XT Infrastructure Represents a Milestone for Cray's Adaptive Supercomputing Vision
SEATTLE, WA, Nov 13, 2006 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) today announced the availability of its
next-generation massively parallel processing (MPP) system, the Cray
XT4(TM) supercomputer. The powerful new supercomputer, previously
code-named "Hood," is designed to easily and efficiently scale to a
peak performance of more than one petaflops (1,000 trillion
floating-point operations per second). The Cray XT4 supercomputer
debuts with several large system orders announced earlier this year
from leading organizations, including the Oak Ridge National
Laboratory (ORNL), the National Energy Research Scientific Computing
Center (NERSC) and the Finnish IT Center for Science (CSC).
The new Cray XT4 system is designed for superior scalability,
incorporating the latest generation of AMD Opteron(TM) processors
matched with expanded local and interconnect bandwidth that provides
the industry-leading system balance necessary to optimize application
performance at scale. The system is equipped with AMD Opteron
dual-core processors that can be easily upgraded to AMD's quad-core
processing technology in the future to deliver balanced petaflops
"The Cray XT4 system is a crucial element in our ongoing partnership
with Cray, which calls for us to increase the performance of our
Jaguar system to 100 teraflops by the end of this year, and again to
250 teraflops in 2007 or early 2008," said Thomas Zacharia, associate
laboratory director, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Our users are
experiencing sustained performance well in excess of 10 teraflops on
a range of applications from Astrophysics/Cosmology, Fusion Science
and Materials Science to name a few on our current 54 teraflops
system. With our Cray XT4 system upgrade, we are on the path to a
system that will eventually perform significantly faster on a broad
spectrum of important scientific applications."
The Cray XT4 supercomputer is the first product in Cray's Rainier
program, the initial phase of the company's Adaptive Supercomputing
vision. The Rainier program will integrate all of Cray's current
processor technologies onto a common Cray XT(TM) infrastructure,
allowing a diverse and challenging application workload to run on a
single, highly scalable infrastructure without compromising
performance or usability. Evolved from the successful Cray XT3(TM)
supercomputer, the Cray XT infrastructure provides a common, scalable
environment for login, compilation, resource management, work
scheduling and I/O. This environment also includes a unique globally
shared, high-performance parallel file system, as well as network
interfaces to other systems.
"Massively parallel processors play an important role in the
high-performance computing market," said Dr. Earl Joseph, IDC program
vice president, Technical Computing Systems. "Their internal systems
interconnects are designed to provide significantly higher bandwidth
and lower latencies relative to general purpose networking
technologies often used in clusters. This stronger internal
performance can allow MPP systems to address a broader range of
applications with greater levels of scalability than commercial off
the shelf products."
"While the theoretical peak speed of supercomputers may be good for
bragging rights, it is not an accurate indicator of how the machine
will perform when running actual research codes -- which is what our
2,500 users are most interested in," said Horst Simon, director of
the NERSC Division at Berkeley Lab. "To better gauge how well a
system will meet the needs of our users, we developed SSP, a
sustained system performance benchmark suite. Under this real-world
performance test, the new Cray XT4 system will deliver over 16
teraflops on a sustained basis."
Architected for the Future
The Cray XT4 supercomputer uses up to 30,000 AMD Opteron dual-core
processors running a highly scalable operating system and interfaced
to the Cray SeaStar2(TM) interconnect chip to provide unsurpassed
scalability and performance. Unlike typical cluster architectures, in
which many microprocessors share one communications interface, each
AMD Opteron processor in the Cray XT4 system is coupled with its own
interconnect chip. Providing six links in three dimensions, the
unique Cray SeaStar2 chip uses its embedded routing capability to
take advantage of HyperTransport(TM) technology and significantly
accelerate communications among the processors
"After an extensive selection process we chose the Cray XT4
supercomputer to replace a cluster system that could no longer keep up
with the computing demands of our research groups," said Kimmo Koski,
managing director of CSC, the Finnish IT Center for Science. "We
determined that the Cray XT4 system matched our needs by delivering
the best combination of performance and value."
"Unlike commodity clusters, the Cray XT4 supercomputer is built from
the ground up to provide a scalable, balanced system in order to
support the most demanding applications," said Cray President and CEO
Peter Ungaro. "The Cray XT4 system builds upon our highly successful
Cray XT3 supercomputer in almost every aspect, providing enhanced
scalability, performance and reliability in a system that is easily
upgradeable to protect a customer's investment for years to come."
Key Advantages for Cray Customers
The Cray XT4 supercomputer offers customers significant
- Advanced MPP architecture -- the system is capable of peak petaflops
performance, scaling upward to as many as 30,000 AMD Opteron processors.
The design delivers balanced performance using single-socket processor
nodes with local memory and direct interprocessor communications, as well
as a low-jitter operating system. This dramatically reduces the bottlenecks
and connection difficulties associated with large cluster systems built
from off-the-shelf commodity server components.
- High-bandwidth communications -- the second-generation Cray SeaStar2
interconnect chip utilizes HyperTransport(TM) technology and built-in
routers to boost bandwidth and reduce latency for data moving among
processors or fetched from memory. This high-speed interconnect eliminates
the cost and complexity of external switches, while significantly improving
scalability and reliability.
- Scalable operating system (OS) -- the OS is designed to run very large
applications, scaling efficiently to handle the most complex compute tasks.
A microkernel runs on the compute processors, providing a computational
environment that minimizes system overhead, which is critical to a highly
scalable system. Separately, the service processors run a full Linux
- Open, scalable programming environment -- the system facilitates
development of scalable applications, allowing programmers to focus on the
applications themselves and separately deal with global system services. It
also offers multiple compilers and Cray Apprentice2(TM), the industry's
most complete set of performance analysis tools that help identify and
correct performance bottlenecks at scale.
- Exceptional manageability and reliability -- the Cray XT4 system
maximizes reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS), with built-in
redundancy for critical components and judicious use of socketed
components, minimizing single points of failure. The Cray RAS and
Management System (CRMS) functions independently with its own control
processors and supervisory network so as not to diminish application
performance. The system also provides a single interface to manage the
entire system as one supercomputer, not as a cluster of independent
systems. These characteristics contribute to lowering a customer's total
cost of ownership.
- Highly scalable I/O -- the supercomputer features an input/output
scheme that can accommodate the bandwidth needs of the most data-intensive
applications. Users can select the appropriate number of RAIDs (redundant
array of independent disks) and service elements to store all their data in
a single, global file system.
- Flexibility and expandability -- the system infrastructure allows for
easy upgrades to upcoming processor technologies from AMD, as well as
future custom processing technologies from Cray such as multithreading,
vector and reconfigurable co-processing being developed as part of Cray's
Adaptive Supercomputing vision. This further preserves customers'
investments in their Cray XT4 system and makes the system flexible enough
to handle increasing demands for capability and capacity.
The Cray XT4 supercomputer is available and shipping now. Go to
www.cray.com/products/xt4 for more information. The new system will
be unveiled at the Cray booth #1515, during the opening gala of SC06
in Tampa, Florida, later this evening.
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.
Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements. There are
certain factors that could cause Cray's execution plans to differ
those anticipated by the statements above. Among these are the
technical challenges of developing high-performance computing systems,
including potential delays in development projects; Cray's ability to
scale the system to the targeted level of performance; timing and
level of government support for supercomputer purchases and research
and development activities; reliance on third-party suppliers,
including delays in availability of parts from suppliers; timing of
and successful porting of application programs to new computing
systems; and successful passing of acceptance tests. For a discussion
of these and other risks, see "Risk Factors" in Cray's most recent
Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC.
Cray is a registered trademark, and Cray XT4, Cray XT, Cray XT3, Cray
SeaStar2 and Cray Apprentice2 are trademarks, of Cray Inc. AMD, AMD
Opteron and combinations thereof are trademarks of Advanced Micro
Devices, Inc. HyperTransport is a licensed trademark of the
HyperTransport Technology Consortium. All other trademarks are the
property of their respective owners.
SOURCE: Cray Inc.