Department of Energy Supercomputing Center to Advance Scientific Research With Powerful Cray XT4(TM) System
BERKELEY, CA and SEATTLE, WA, Nov 01, 2007 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX News Network) -- The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory and Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) today announced the
successful completion of the acceptance test of one of the world's
largest supercomputers. Installed at the DOE's National Energy
Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), the powerful Cray XT4
(TM) system contains nearly 20,000 processor cores and has a top
processing speed of more than 100 teraflops.
The next-generation supercomputer will be used to advance a broad
range of scientific research. Named "Franklin" in honor of the first
internationally recognized American scientist, Benjamin Franklin, the
Cray XT4 system enables researchers to tackle the most challenging
problems in science by conducting more frequent and increasingly
detailed simulations and analyses of massive sets of data.
"With Franklin, we are increasing the computational power available
to our 2,900 NERSC users by a factor of six, providing them with
access to one of the world's fastest supercomputers dedicated to open
scientific research," said Michael Strayer, associate director of
DOE's Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, which funds
NERSC. "We have high expectations that NERSC's proven track record of
scientific productivity will provide many new discoveries and
The highly scalable Cray XT4 system is capable of running
applications across a wide range of scientific disciplines, including
astrophysics, fusion, climate change prediction, combustion, energy
and biology. Franklin will enable researchers at Berkeley Lab to
address such problems as developing better models of the Earth's
climate and using it to predict the impact of carbon dioxide
emissions and global warming. The powerful system will also allow
researchers to explore clean energy technologies and validate
theories that attempt to uncover evidence that explains the origin of
"Our new Cray XT4 system has demonstrated that it can deliver a high
sustained performance on a demanding scientific workload in a
rigorous production environment while at the same time permitting
users to explore scaling to nearly 20,000 cores," said Horst Simon,
director of the NERSC Division at Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory. "We are particularly proud of the strong partnership
between NERSC and Cray. Beginning more than a year ago, we jointly
defined design requirements then tested and validated a Linux
operating environment for Franklin and ultimately Cray's entire XT
product line that will be available to our vast community of users.
We were pleased to be part of such a landmark accomplishment -- the
first true light-weight Linux kernel for HPC systems."
Franklin has a theoretical peak speed in excess of 100 teraflops (100
trillion floating point operations per second). In assessing
proposed systems, the Cray XT4 scalable architecture promised to
deliver high sustained performance, which is critical to NERSC's 24x7
operation to meet users' supercomputing demands.
"We are very excited to see one of the largest supercomputers in the
world opened up to the expansive user community at NERSC," said Peter
Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray. "The Cray XT4 system will provide
the computational power to enable researchers who compute at NERSC to
efficiently tackle some of the most important problems we face today.
With high sustained performance, scalability and upgradeability to
petaflops capacity as its key attributes, the Cray XT4 supercomputer
will help enable major advances in a number of scientific fields now
and in the future."
As part of an extensive testing program, a number of NERSC users were
given early access to Franklin to ensure that the system could handle
the most demanding scientific applications.
"I am extremely impressed with Franklin," said Robert Harkness, an
astrophysicist at the San Diego Supercomputer Center working on a
project aimed at precisely measuring the cosmological parameters that
describe the shape, matter-energy contents, and expansion history of
the universe. Running an application called ENZO, the project seeks
to increase our understanding of the dark energy and dark matter
thought to make up more than nine-tenths of the universe. "We have
run the largest instances of ENZO ever, anywhere, and found that the
performance and scaling on Franklin are both strong and better than
other computer platforms we have used at other computing centers."
Another project, led by Julian Borrill of Berkeley Lab, leveraged
Franklin's computing power to prepare for analyzing the massive
amounts of data to be sent back to Earth by the Planck satellite set
for launch in 2008. A joint U.S.-European project, Planck will use 74
detectors to measure cosmic microwave background, the residual
radiation from the actual "Big Bang." Last scattered some 400,000
years after the Big Bang, it provides the earliest possible image of
the universe, including encoded signatures of the fundamental
parameters of all matter.
"I am delighted to report that we have just successfully created a
map of the entire Planck Full Focal Plane one-year simulation,"
Borrill said. "This is the first time that so many data samples --
three terabytes of data in 50,000 files, representing all the
information collected by Planck during one mission year -- have been
analyzed simultaneously, a primary goal of our group's early Franklin
Franklin contains 9,672 AMD dual-core Opteron(TM) 2.6 GHz processors
with 39 terabytes of memory. Running on 16,384 processor cores, the
group was able to complete the run in just 45 minutes.
The NERSC Center currently serves more than 2,900 scientists at
national laboratories and universities across the country researching
problems in combustion, climate modeling, fusion energy, materials
science, physics, chemistry and computational biology. Established in
1974, the NERSC Center has long been a leader in providing systems,
services and expertise to advance computational science throughout
the DOE research community. NERSC is managed by Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory for DOE. For more information about the NERSC
Center, go to http://www.nersc.gov/.
About the Cray XT4 Supercomputer
Building on the success of the Cray XT3(TM) system, the Cray XT4 is a
massively parallel processor (MPP) supercomputer purpose-built to
deliver exceptional sustained application performance for challenging
scientific and engineering problems. The supercomputer's high-speed 3D
torus interconnect, advanced MPP operating system and high-speed
global input/output make it possible for users to scale applications
to more than 120,000 processor cores with exceptional sustained
performance. The system's scalable processing element uses x86 64-bit
AMD Opteron processors that employ HyperTransport(TM) technology to
increase bandwidth and reduce latency. Go to
www.cray.com/products/xt4/index.html for more information.
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 Cray XT4 and Cray XT3 are
trademarks of Cray Inc. AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, AMD Opteron and
combinations thereof, are trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
HyperTransport is a licensed trademark of the HyperTransport
Technology Consortium. Other names are for informational purposes
only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory:
SOURCE: Cray Inc.