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Monday, November 14, 2011
New Cray Supercomputer To Use AMD 16-core Processors

Cray Inc. today announced it has finalized a contract with the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) to provide the supercomputer for the National Science Foundation's Blue Waters project. The computer will use AMD's 16-core Opteros Chips.

The "Blue Waters" supercomputer will be comprised of more than 235 Cray XE6 systems and a future upgrade of the recently-announced Cray XK6 supercomputer with GPU computing capability incorporated into a single, hybrid supercomputer. Once fully deployed, the system is expected to have a sustained performance of more than one petaflops on demanding scientific applications.

Consisting of products and services, the multi-phase, multi-year contract is valued at $188 million. The Cray supercomputer will be installed in multiple phases over the first three quarters of 2012 at the University of Illinois' National Petascale Computing Facility. The integrated XE6 and XK6 supercomputer will feature new 16-core AMD Opteron 6200 Series processors (formerly code-named "Interlagos"), Nvidia's next-generation GPU called "Kepler," and a new integrated storage solution from Cray. Acceptance of the complete system is anticipated to occur in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The NCSA had been working with IBM and planned to use IBM's Power7 processor for Blue Waters, but IBM canceled that contract earlier in the year.

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