Cray Joins EU’s Push Toward Exascale Technologies


Cray acquired the assets of Gnodal in Bristol, U.K. November of last year. From its start with sales and customer-support organizations in Europe, Cray has made significant additions to its R&D staff, its CTO office and other local teams. Acquiring Gnodal demonstrated Cray’s desire to grow this European R&D team, to collaborate and exchange information with other leaders in the European HPC environment as well as continue our push towards exascale technologies.  This collaboration is exemplified by Cray’s recent membership in the European Technology Platform for High-Performance Computing (ETP4HPC). European Technology Platforms are industry-led forums that collaborate with the European Commission (EC) in Brussels.  As stated in … [Read more...]

Unconventional Ways Supercomputers are Used


Supercomputers power a diverse array of scientific research, including calculating the airflow of aircrafts, simulating the earth’s climate, producing data for hurricane predictions to help save communities, providing managers with the tools to make smarter production decisions . . . the possibilities are endless. Enough about the obvious though. In this first of an ongoing series of posts, I’d like to introduce you to some of the more unexpected ways supercomputers are having an impact on our lives.  Believe me, you may be surprised. #1: Ice Cream A team of scientists are using fluid dynamic applications to study the behavior of "soft matter," which incorporates any material considered soft, including ice cream. That’s right, ice … [Read more...]

NERSC’s “Edison” Unleashed


Now that our new flagship supercomputer Edison, a 2.5-petaflop Cray® XC30™, has been in full production mode for a couple of months, it seems like a good time to check in and see how scientists are using it. At the top of the list of hours used are teams of scientists studying the fundamentals of the standard model of particle physics, the structure of the Earth's subsurface, clustering of matter in the early universe, fusion energy, clean combustion, how salts bind to water, nano-characteristics of catalysts, table-top accelerators, carbon sequestration, and extreme climate events. If that seems like a diverse and intriguing array of topics, that's because it is.  NERSC, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, is … [Read more...]

MSU Turns to Liquid-Cooled Cluster Supercomputer


Mississippi State University had a need for a powerful and efficient new primary supercomputing system for their High Performance Computing Collaboratory (HPC2) –  a coalition focused on advancing the state of the art in computational science and engineering using high performance computing. They chose the Cray® CS300™ liquid-cooled cluster supercomputer. Nicknamed "Shadow," MSU's new Cray CS300-LC cluster generates 316.1 teraflops of peak performance while using minimal energy. This efficiency is accomplished in part through a hybrid architecture featuring Intel® Xeon® processors and Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors, and because the system uses warm water for cooling. Almost four years ago, the University installed its first chilled … [Read more...]

What’s in a (Supercomputer) Name?


Think “discovery” and you can see why NERSC, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, names their supercomputers after famous scientists and inventors. Operated by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and serving the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, NERSC has a long history with high-end Cray supercomputers and using them to drive scientific discovery. Their latest Cray machine “Edison”, a Cray® XC30™ supercomputer named after Thomas Edison, has been up and running for much of 2013 with a formal dedication ceremony held last week at Berkeley Lab in California. Supercomputer predecessors at NERSC include “Hopper”, a Cray® XE6™ named after innovating computer scientist Grace Hopper, and “Franklin”, a Cray® XT4™, … [Read more...]