Wednesday, 19th February 2020

Cray launches next-generation supercomputer

At the 2016 Supercomputing Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. has launched the Cray® XC50™ supercomputer – the company’s fastest supercomputer ever with a peak performance of one petaflop in a single cabinet.

The Cray XC50 supercomputer is engineered to address the broad application performance challenges of today’s most demanding high performance computing (HPC) users. Special features of the Cray XC50 supercomputer include:
  • the industry-leading Aries network interconnect, which is designed specifically to meet the performance requirements seen in today’s emerging class of data center GPU accelerated applications, where high node-to-node communication performance is critical;
  • a Dragonfly network topology tightly integrated with Aries that reduces communication latency for scale-out applications that rely heavily on the Message Passing Interface;
  • optional SSD-enabled DataWarp™ I/O accelerator technology, enabling software-defined provisioning of application data for improved performance;
  • innovative cooling systems to lower customers’ total cost of ownership;
  • the next-generation of the high performance and tightly integrated Cray Linux Environment that supports a wide range of applications;
  • image-based systems management for easy upgrades, less downtime, and field-tested large-scale system deployment;
  • enhancements to Cray’s HPC optimized programming environment for improved performance and programmability of GPU environments;
  • support for the NVIDIA® Tesla® P100 GPU accelerator as well as support for next-generation Intel® Xeon® and Intel Xeon Phi™ processors.
“Supercomputing applications are evolving to include more deep learning algorithms, and with this evolution, the uses for GPUs in our systems are increasing, enabling our customers to use new analytics techniques to gain insight from increasingly large and complex data,” said Ryan Waite, Cray senior vice president of products. “The new Cray XC50 system represents a major advancement in our supercomputing capabilities. It provides the highest performance density of any Cray supercomputer, and gives customers the computational resources they need to take on larger, more complex workloads, as well as the next generation of scientific challenges.”
Located in Lugano, Switzerland, CSCS is currently upgrading its Cray XC30™ supercomputer nick-named “Piz Daint” to a Cray XC50 system, and will combine it with the Centre’s Cray XC40™ supercomputer nick-named “Piz Dora”. Once completed, the combined system will adopt the Piz Daint name and will be one of the fastest supercomputers in the world.
“Our new Cray XC50 supercomputer will significantly accelerate our computational research capabilities allowing our users to perform more advanced, data-intensive simulations, visualizations and data analyses across a wide array of scientific studies,” said Prof. Dr. Thomas C. Shulthess, director of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS). “Cray’s next-generation supercomputer and its continued integration of GPU acceleration has created a powerful and efficient hybrid multi-core system for addressing our current and future HPC workloads.”
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