Cray gets high profile energy supercomputer contract

While IBM has been scooping a lot of high profile supercomputer contracts lately, it seems the old 1980s dinosaur Cray is getting back in the running.

Cray has announced that it received a $47 million contract from the US Department of Energy for a new supercomputer that will be used for advanced climate modelling.

The company will provide the computer to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It is part of a partnership between the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce.

The funds are being provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Apparently,  Cray will be delivering the computer by the second half of 2010. The second phase, which includes the delivery of additional systems and upgrades, is expected to be complete in 2011. Additional upgrades are planned for 2012.

The beast in question is a next generation Cray XT6 supercomputer code-named “Baker.”It is an eight-socket Opteron 6100 blade server with four SeaStar2+ interconnect ports on the blade.

When the project enters the second stage it will be upgraded with the XT6 box converted to a full Baker system and a second Baker box will added probably with the latest “Bulldozer” Opterons.