German boffins to get Cray supercomputer

Boffins at the University of Stuttgart in Germany are to get their hands on a new supercomputer from Cray as part of a $60 million deal.

The Cray XE6, expected to go into production in 2011, will be shipped to the University’s High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS).

The multi-year contract also includes the future delivery of Cray’s next-generation supercomputer, which has the code-name of “Cascade”.

Cray, which has been scooping its fair share of supercomputing contracts, said its new system would work as a supercomputing resource for researchers, scientists and engineers throughout Europe.

HLRS is said to be one of the leading centers in the European PRACE initiative and the only large European high performance computing (HPC) centre to work directly with industrial partners in areas such as automotive and aerospace engineering.

HLRS is also a key partner of the Gauss Centre for Supercomputing (GCS), an alliance of the three major supercomputing centers in Germany that collectively provide one of the biggest and most powerful supercomputer infrastructures.

Peter Ungaro, Cray president and CEO, said: “This is an exciting announcement for Cray on a number of fronts. HLRS has been an important partner of ours for many years, and this win in Germany continues to build on our momentum internationally.

“HLRS’ strong partnership with the automotive and aerospace industries is also important as we continue to expand our presence in these customer segments. Finally, this contract marks Cray’s first order for our next-generation supercomputer code-named Cascade, which is another major milestone in delivering on our Adaptive Supercomputing vision.”

Professor Dr Michael Resch, director of HLRS, said: “Cray is just the right partner as we enter the era of petaflops computing. Together with Cray’s outstanding supercomputing technology, our center will be able to carry through the new initiative for engineering and industrial simulation. This is especially important as we work at the forefront of electric mobility and sustainable energy supply.”

The Cray XE6 supercomputer combines Cray’s current Gemini system interconnect with AMD Opteron(TM) processors, and is designed to bring production petascale computing to a new and expanded base of HPC users.

Its features include better network resiliency, a mature and scalable software environment and the ability to run a wide range of ISV applications with the latest version of the Cray Linux Environment.

According to Cray, the Cascade will include a next-generation interconnect chipset follow-on to Gemini and will also have support for future Intel(R) Xeon(R) processors.

The delivery of the Cascade system should be completed in the second half of 2013.