Springfield Supercomputer Center Receives New Cray Systems

The Ohio Supercomputer Center’s Springfield, Ohio, facility will receive two new high-performance computing systems this summer, including the Cray X1 and the Cray XD1. Both systems will be installed in August, and will dramatically improve the efficiency and performance to meet the needs of the high-end user.

The Cray X1 supercomputer will be installed August 17th at OSC's new data center facility in Springfield, and will support scientific researchers throughout Ohio and beyond, especially in the fields of chemistry, materials science and life science. A Cray XD1 supercomputer will also be installed in August at OSC-Springfield, and the two systems will be used to investigate new solutions for data-intensive computing issues.

"With the addition of these two state-of-the-art Cray systems, OSC's high-performance computing resources will be among the most exciting in the nation. I look forward to seeing the scientific advances they will help make possible," said Kevin Wohlever, Director of OSC Springfield.

The Cray X1 and XD1 will replace the older Cray SV1ex located at OSC’s Columbus headquarters. The Cray SV1ex supercomputer, whose processing capacity was recently increased by 33 percent, has been in service for five years and will be returned to Cray.

“Technology changes so fast that it is hard to keep a system, such as a Cray, up to date after five years. It becomes expensive to support and maintain. It’s usually just better to trade it in and get a new platform,” Wohlever said.

Wohlever said the Cray X1 will contribute to advances in areas such as weather and climate modeling, aerospace engineering, automotive design, and a variety of other applications important in academic and government research. The new system features powerful vector processors combined with an interconnect that scales to peak performances of multiple tens of Teraflops (trillion Floating point operations per second).

Designed to meet the requirements of highly parallel applications such as simulation, modeling, searching, sorting, and data mining, the XD1 is an indispensable tool for engineers and scientists to simulate and analyze faster, solve more complex problems, and bring solutions to market sooner.

“The new vector support will help some existing codes that have yet to be moved to the cluster environment. At the same time, these new systems, since they are being paid for out of Federal dollars, will allow OSC to expand collaboration opportunities to other institutions across the US. That is where the real benefit of the systems will be recognized,” Wohlever said.

Wohlever said the Cray XD1 will be used for scientific research to exploit the system's re-configurable computing capability. He said the XD1 combines breakthrough interconnect, management, and re-configurable computing technologies with AMD Opteron processors to meet user demands for exceptional performance, reliability, and usability.

"We are very excited about making Cray's advanced high-performance computing tools available to Ohio's scientific research community and our other users. These resources will help make important contributions to our economy and quality of life," said OSC Executive Director Stan Ahalt. "OSC is grateful to the Department of Energy's ASCI program and to U.S. Representative Dave Hobson for the strong support that made this possible."

Cray Chairman and CEO Jim Rottsolk said, "OSC is a prestigious scientific center and a long-standing customer of ours. It is exciting for Cray that OSC is making our newest systems available to its broad scientific user base. The Cray X1 system is the world's most powerful supercomputer product and our Cray XD1 system is going to enable revolutionary breakthroughs that aren't possible on similarly priced cluster products."

Overall customer-reported scores for the Cray X1(TM) supercomputer system were the best for any high-performance computing (HPC) system on the new U.S. government-sponsored HPC Challenge benchmark tests, Rottsolk said.

About OSC

OSC is Ohio's high performance computing and networking center. Established in 1987 by the Ohio Board of Regents, the Center provides scientific computing, networking, educational outreach, and information technology resources to state and national high performance computing and networking groups. OSC empowers its academic, industrial, and government partners to make Ohio the education and technology state of the future. More information on OSC can be found at www.osc.edu.

About Cray Inc.

Cray's mission is to be the premier provider of high performance computing for its customers' most challenging scientific and engineering problems. For more information on Cray go to www.cray.com

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