High School Students Thinking Big – Really Big

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In February, Cray received a letter from Hugo, a 10th-grade student at John F. Kennedy Middle College High School in Norco, Calif. We receive many letters from people with a variety of questions or suggestions, so we can’t always respond, but the letter from Hugo was particularly intriguing. In the letter, Hugo writes: “I am writing you this letter because of a request I have to solve this math equation, Y = 259,496,785,246,945,100,035.25 * (204,596,735,436,300,431,333,445 ^ 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000)” I showed the letter to Steve Scott, Cray’s CTO. Steve quickly became intrigued with the enormity of the problem and how best to respond. In a letter back to Hugo, Steve ... [ Read More ]

Behind the Name: “Beagle” and “Beagle-2”


How do Cray customers name their systems? An occasional look at the stories behind the names. . From 1831 to 1836, Charles Darwin journeyed around the world as the naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle. His diary of that expedition, detailing the specimens he collected and the revolutionary ideas they sparked, were collected in “The Voyage of the Beagle,” published in 1839. Twenty years later, those ideas would mature into “On The Origin of Species,” Darwin’s argument for natural selection and the dawn of modern evolutionary biology. The voyage of our Beagle began in 2010, when the Computation Institute — a joint initiative of the University of Chicago (UChicago) and Argonne National Laboratory — purchased the Cray® XE6™ supercomputer with ... [ Read More ]

Chapel Springs into a Summer of Code


As spring arrives, a number of noteworthy events are taking place around the Chapel™ parallel language project at Cray. Here is a quick rundown of four recent highlights. Spring Chapel release The spring 2016 release of Chapel was made available on April 7. Some highlights of the release include: Major improvements to Chapel strings and string-based computations Substantial performance gains due to support for a new jemalloc-based memory allocator along with other optimizations and implementation improvements Initial support for running Chapel programs on Intel's next-generation Intel® Xeon Phi™ processors, code named Knights Landing (KNL) Significant improvements to the content and organization of Chapel’s online ... [ Read More ]

New Users Tap Titan for Another Year of World-Class Supercomputing Research


First-year INCITE researchers headline strong 2016 in advance of 2017 call for proposals At the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), we know that using a supercomputer can be challenging. Almost every year, a portion of our users are renewed for another allocation. Many of our regular users have spent decades honing their computing abilities to efficiently use the  fastest supercomputer in the United States for scientific research. However, experience is only one aspect of gaining access to our Titan supercomputer. Our center isn’t considered world-class purely on the basis of having a world-class machine. The OLCF has a robust training and tutorial program, available online, that can help new or prospective users learn how ... [ Read More ]

Intel Broadwell Xeon Debuts on Cray XC and CS Series Supercomputers


Your next demanding compute challenge: Does it seem insurmountable? Need more cores? Higher base processor frequency? Faster memory? All of the above? Take a look at Cray’s integration of next-generation Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 v4 processors, previously codenamed “Broadwell.” The new processor enables theoretical peak performance boosts of up to 30 percent for new and existing Cray® XC™ series supercomputers and Cray® CS™ series cluster supercomputers. The Broadwell “new process technology tick” implementation is all about improving performance, delivering higher peak flops than previous-generation “new micro-architecture tock” Haswell Xeon processors. Built on Intel’s 14nm Grantley platform, the new device family offers configurations ... [ Read More ]