Why PGS Made the Move from Clusters to Supercomputers

PGS is a marine seismic company that acquires high-resolution seismic data for use in imaging and modeling the earth’s subsurface. When the company launched its Triton survey in the Gulf of Mexico in November 2013, they knew they’d end up with the largest seismic survey they’d ever collected. When they finished acquiring the data in August 2014, they had the most complex imaging challenge they’d ever faced. The high-fold, long-offset, dual-sensor, broadband survey provided full-azimuth data and covered approximately 10,000 square kilometers in a notoriously difficult-to-image area of the Gulf. The result: a 660 terabyte dataset. Triton overcomes deepwater challenges Considered the most revolutionary and technologically advanced ... [ Read More ]

Inventions at Cray: Solving the Hard Problems

In the U.S., Feb. 11 is National Inventor’s Day, timed to coincide with the birthday of Thomas Edison. That’s reason enough to celebrate the inventors among us. The phrase “computer vector register processing” may not sound very inspiring, but that’s what Seymour Cray’s patent for the supercomputer, issued in 1976, was called. Forty years later, his invention still inspires scientists and engineers to change the world. Cray continues to nurture the spirit of invention both internally and among its customers and partners. For his part, Seymour Cray obtained numerous patents throughout his career, but it was U.S. Patent No. 4,128,880 (“Computer vector register processing”) that got him inducted into the National Inventors Hall ... [ Read More ]

Cray Swiss Clients Receive Innovation Award

As we highlighted at the recent SC16 conference, Cray’s clients do amazing things that affect ordinary people every day. So it was nice to see MeteoSwiss (Switzerland’s Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology) and the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS), recognized for doing just that. The Swiss ICT Award 2016 honors MeteoSwiss and CSCS for their work on the COSMO Novel Expert Tool (COSMO-NExT). The award website explains: “The demands on the national weather service are continuously increasing. Weather simulations are essential for flight safety, storm warnings and in the event of nuclear or chemical disasters. In order to achieve accurate forecasts and create more realistic simulations, new and higher resolution ... [ Read More ]

The Cray® XC50™ and NVIDIA® Tesla® P100 GPU – the Next Giant Leap in Compute Performance

Europe’s fastest supercomputer shoulders the challenges of the region’s toughest compute problems, from weather modeling to cosmology, and across a very broad range of other scientific domains. As the computational demands for this popular resource increase due to finer resolution on climatology models, more complex scientific computations, bigger datasets, and larger simulations, and as workloads diversify, the system needs to increase in capability and evolve while maintaining a fully utilized production environment. Based on challenging requirements like these, Cray developed the XCTM series supercomputers to easily support differing processor technologies in the same architecture. By leveraging the advantages of continuously changing ... [ Read More ]

A Super Interconnect for a Supercomputer

  It’s hard to truly understand the capabilities of modern-day supercomputers, their constituent technologies and deeply evolved software stacks. Once in a while, a technologist (or a marketing person) will refer to the "Cray inside my cellphone" or compare IBM’s 1980s DASD storage (pronounced dasdee by old-timers) with today’s solid-state storage devices (likely found inside a cellphone as well), but those comparisons are typically made to marvel at today’s cellphones rather than to marvel at today’s supercomputers. (In fact, today’s supercomputers now have aggregate processing and storage capabilities that would easily translate to millions of those cellphone chips and SD cards.) Impressive as that “millions of cellphone ... [ Read More ]