SOURCE: Cray Inc.

October 16, 2008 07:30 ET

Cray "Red Storm" Supercomputer at Sandia Instrumental in Successful Destruction of Failed Satellite

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - October 16, 2008) - Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) today announced that the "Red Storm" supercomputer at Sandia National Laboratories was used to assist the U.S. Navy in shooting down a failed satellite with a single missile strike. The satellite, which failed soon after its 2006 launch, posed a potential safety hazard as it reentered the earth's atmosphere. The successful destruction occurred in February 2008 but the role of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in the mission was classified until recently.

The entire Red Storm system, containing 25,920 AMD Opteron processing elements, was dedicated for about two months to the task of simulating and planning the complex missile strike. This information helped the Department of Defense (DoD) plan and execute the operation, as well as conduct follow-up analysis. Key challenges included determining the optimal hit point for destruction, minimizing the spread of debris, and ensuring that one missile strike would suffice.

"The architecture of the Red Storm XT system, designed and engineered in partnership between Cray and Sandia and sponsored by NNSA, was critical in facilitating the high-fidelity simulations required to provide confidence in a spectrum of scenarios to DoD," said James Peery, director of Sandia's Computer and Computation Sciences Center.

The Red Storm system at Sandia National Laboratories is used by the NNSA to help certify the reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without underground testing. The system has been upgraded several times over the past three years and was recently upgraded to over 280 teraflops (trillion floating points per second), maintaining its status as one of the world's most powerful supercomputers.

"Cray is proud that Red Storm met this unique challenge in addition to its primary task of supporting the NNSA's stockpile stewardship mission," said Cray CEO and President Peter Ungaro. "We continue to work closely with Sandia in upgrading the capabilities of the Red Storm system so that it continues to be a powerful resource for researchers and is ready to support future efforts that stand to impact the safety and security of our nation."

Sandia and Cray co-designed Red Storm as part of a contract under the NNSA's Advanced Simulation & Computing program. The Red Storm design became the basis for the highly scalable and successful Cray XT line of massively parallel processor supercomputers that have been installed at a number of prestigious supercomputing centers around the world.

About Sandia National Laboratories

Since 1949 Sandia National Laboratories has developed science-based technologies that support U.S. security. The laboratory primarily focuses on nuclear weapons, energy and infrastructure assurance, nonproliferation verification, defense systems and assessments, and antiterrorism. Go to for more information.

About Cray Inc.

As the global leader in supercomputing, Cray provides highly advanced supercomputing systems and world-class services and support to government, industry and academia. Cray technology enables scientists and engineers to achieve remarkable breakthroughs by accelerating performance, improving efficiency and extending the capabilities of their most demanding applications. Cray's Adaptive Supercomputing vision will result in innovative next-generation products that integrate diverse processing technologies into a unified architecture, allowing customers to surpass today's limitations and meeting the market's continued demand for realized performance. Go to for more information.

Cray is a registered trademark, and Cray XT is a trademark, of Cray Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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