Cray Supercomputer wins $188-million contract for National Science’ Blue Waters project

By on Nov 14, 2011 in Technology, United States Comments

Cray, Inc. announced on Monday, November 14, 2011, that it will provide the supercomputer for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) of University of Illinois, worth $188 million.

Cray XE6
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As noted by Cray Supercomputer on its official website that day, the supercomputer will be created for the National Science Foundation’s Blue Waters project and will be a multi-year contract.

According to the report, the Blue Waters project will be composed of over 235 Cray XE6 cabinets based on the AMD’s Opteron 6200 Series processor (formerly code-named “Interlagos“) and more than 30 cabinets of a future version of the recently announced Cray XK6 supercomputer with Nvidia Tesla graphics processing units (GPUs).

All of them will be combined into a single, powerful hybrid supercomputer, which will be installed in multiple phases over the first three quarters of 2012. This project was supposed to be for IBM but the contract was canceled early this year.

“We’re very excited to have been selected by the NCSA, NSF and the University of Illinois to deliver the Blue Waters system, which represents one of the largest contracts in our company’s history,” Cray CEO and President Peter Ungaro was quoted on the report.

“Together with the recently announced $97 million contract to upgrade the ‘Jaguar’ system at Oak Ridge National Laboratories, these contracts demonstrate Cray‘s leadership position in supercomputing.” Ungaro added.

Once completed, Blue Waters is being expected to deliver average sustained performance of more than one petaflops, or quadrillion calculations per second, for scientific computing tasks.

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