Cray finishes off Gaea

Cray has delivered the final 26 cabinets of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s climate research supercomputer, which is housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Dubbed Gaea, the Cray XE6 supercomputer, has more AMD 16-core Interlagos processors than you can poke a stick at.

Jeff Nichols, an associate lab director at ORNL who heads the computational sciences programme, told Knox News that will the upgrades, the climate modeling computer will have a peak performance of 1,100 trillion calculations per second.

Gaea is in two bits. There is the 14-cabinet system which has a peak capability of 260 teraflops (260 trillion calculations per second), while the second piece is the new 26-cabinet system with a capability of 720 teraflops, he said.

The first segment will be upgraded in the spring and the two pieces are integrated into one system. It will then become 1.1 petaflops (1,100 trillion calculations per second) supercomputer.

Gaea is liquid-cooled and uses Cray’s ECOphlex technology, which employs a refrigerant to remove most of the computer’s massive heat load.

Gaea will be used for climate modeling and research simulations. It includes two separate Lustre parallel file systems “that handle data sets that rank among the world’s largest,” ORNL said. “NOAA research partners access the system remotely through speedy wide area connections. Two 10-gigabit (billion bit) lambdas, or optical waves, pass data to NOAA’s national research network through peering points at Atlanta and Chicago.”