SOURCE: Cray Inc.

November 14, 2005 07:30 ET

Sandia to Move to 50 Teraflops as Part of Red Storm Contract

High-Efficiency MPP Architecture Is Already Delivering Performance Not Possible With Other HPC Systems

SEATTLE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 14, 2005 -- Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) today announced that under the "Red Storm" contract, Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia), part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), will expand its Cray-built supercomputer to peak performance of more than 50 teraflops (trillions of calculations per second) from its current 40-teraflop capacity in 2006.

"Red Storm is enabling us to carry out unprecedented simulations. For example, we are able to resolve climate calculations at 1/10 of a degree, which is well beyond the current state of the art. We are able to carry out an order-of-magnitude larger simulations, an order-of-magnitude faster than on any of our previous capability systems," said Bill Camp, Director of Computation, Computers, Information and Mathematics at Sandia National Laboratories. "The added capacity will allow us to undertake new and more complex research and achieve even greater productivity gains. Our partnership with Cray to design and deploy an extremely powerful, highly efficient new supercomputer has met our initial expectations and will soon take another step forward."

The expanded, 52-teraflop Red Storm supercomputer will feature 14,348 AMD Opteron™ processors, more than 72 terabytes per second of system memory bandwidth, more than 125 terabytes per second of sustained aggregate interconnect bandwidth, and 400 terabytes of disk storage. The current 40-teraflop Red Storm supercomputer has exceeded expectations by performing more than seven times faster than Sandia's previous ASCI Red supercomputer on real-world applications. Sandia expects to achieve further performance gains with its expansion to a 52-teraflop capacity.

"Sandia has achieved exceptional performance results at record scale since deploying the Red Storm system, running key applications across 10,000 processors or more. Other contemporary HPC systems aren't designed to efficiently run demanding applications at this scale," said Cray Chief Technology Officer Steve Scott. "Customers who are using our new Cray XT3™ product, which is based on the Red Storm architecture, are also achieving breakthrough results at record scale."

Red Storm achieved higher performance than the Earth Simulator on the high-performance Linpack test. Sandia ran the benchmark on the full 10,848-processor Red Storm system at a sustained speed of 36.19 teraflops to surpass the Earth Simulator's current published performance of 35.86 teraflops. Red Storm's Linpack efficiency is higher than for Blue Gene/L, the currently fastest HPC system on Linpack.

The Red Storm system enables DOE scientists and engineers to perform advanced modeling and simulations of complex problems involved in supporting the nation's nuclear weapons program. Sandia also makes a secure portion of the supercomputer available for DOE non-classified scientific research across a spectrum of disciplines.

Challenging problems already running in production mode at large scale on Sandia's Red Storm supercomputer include:

--  Fire Safety.  Sandia ran its Fuego (Spanish: fire) code at
    unprecedented resolution to simulate a so-called object in crosswind. In
    the near term, Sandia will use this application to certify its new fire
    test facility. Later, Sandia will use Fuego simulations to help ensure the
    safety of the nation's nuclear weapons stockpile. Researchers ran the
    object-in-wind simulation, involving 150 million degrees of freedom, for 65
    hours on 2,048 Red Storm processors.
--  Asteroid Explosion.  Running the widely used CTH production code on
    Red Storm, Sandia simulated a hypothetical explosion of the Golevka
    asteroid with new precision. Golevka has been an object of special interest
    since 2003, when NASA scientists discovered the asteroid's course had
    changed. This opened possibilities for predicting asteroids' paths and
    learning how to deflect any that might be headed for Earth. Sandia's half-
    second, billion-cell simulation of a 10-megaton explosion at Golevka's
    center took 12 hours to run on 7,200 processors of Red Storm.
--  Ocean Climate.  Sandia researchers have been running the well-known
    Parallel Ocean Program (POP) code from Los Alamos National Laboratory on
    10,000 processors of the Red Storm system to produce a 10-year simulation
    of global ocean circulation, a crucial element in climate modeling. The
    superhigh-resolution simulation uses average grid spacing of 10 kilometers
    (1/10 of a degree) and 345 million grid points.
--  Atmospheric Climate.  Sandia ran the Sandia-NCAR Spectral Element
    Atmospheric Model (SEAM), coupled with the Community Atmospheric Model
    (CAM), on 10,000 processors of Red Storm for 36 hours to simulate 20 days.
    The billion-grid-point simulation of the entire Earth used an average grid
    spacing of 13 kilometers. Performance scaled efficiently to the 10,000
    processors tried so far.
According to Cray President and CEO Peter Ungaro, "Our partnership with Sandia combines their leadership in operating some of the world's most successful massively parallel processing (MPP) systems, and Cray's expertise in designing and delivering the most capable supercomputers on the planet. We are already testing capabilities for scaling Red Storm and our related Cray XT3 systems to over 100 teraflops of performance while preserving the kind of system balance and capability that simply can't be achieved with cluster technology today."

About Sandia's Red Storm System

Sandia and Cray co-designed the Red Storm computer architecture as part of a $90 million contract under the DOE's Advanced Simulation & Computing program. The Red Storm design became the basis for the Cray XT3™ massively parallel supercomputer product that has been installed at a number of prestigious supercomputing centers around the world.

About the Cray XT3 Supercomputer

The Cray XT3 Supercomputer is the third generation massively parallel processor (MPP) system from Cray -- purpose-built to offer scientists and engineers a high performance computing system that delivers exceptional sustained application performance to handle their most challenging problems. The Cray XT3 supercomputer's high speed 3D torus interconnect, x86 64-bit AMD Opteron™ processors, high speed global I/O, and advanced MPP operating system ensure that applications scale steadily from 200 to more than 30,000 processors without performance losses from communications bottlenecks, asynchronous processing, or memory access delays.

About Sandia

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness. See for more information about Sandia.

About Cray Inc.

As the global leader in HPC, Cray provides innovative supercomputing systems that enable scientists and engineers in government, industry and academia to meet both existing and future computational challenges. Building on years of experience in designing, developing, marketing and servicing the world's most advanced supercomputers, Cray offers a comprehensive portfolio of HPC systems that deliver unrivaled sustained performance on a wide range of applications. Go to for more information.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements. There are certain factors that could cause Cray's execution to differ materially from those anticipated by the statements above. These include the technical challenges of developing high performance computing systems including the development and installation of stable systems and system software that enables the scaling of application programs over a large number of processors, reliance on third-party suppliers including delays in availability of parts from suppliers, the successful porting of application programs to the Cray Red Storm system, the timing of customer acceptances for products shipped, and retention and attraction of key employees and managers. For a discussion of these and other risks, see "Factors That Could Affect Future Results" in Cray's most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC.

Cray is a registered trademark, and Cray XT3 is a trademark, of Cray Inc. Opteron is a trademark of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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