SOURCE: Cray Inc.

October 10, 2005 07:30 ET

ORNL's New Cray X1E Supercomputer Already Providing Breakthrough Speed on "Grand Challenge" Problems

SEATTLE, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 10, 2005 -- After recently passing Oak Ridge National Laboratory's (ORNL) acceptance tests in record time for a large supercomputer, the lab's new Cray X1E™ system, nicknamed Phoenix, is already delivering unprecedented performance on some of the nation's most daunting "grand challenge" science problems, Cray Inc. (NASDAQ: CRAY) announced today.

"We subjected the Cray X1E system to rigorous acceptance tests, and it passed with flying colors. We already have five grand challenge projects running on it and are seeing a lot of breakthrough science that has not been possible on other contemporary HPC systems," said Thomas Zacharia, ORNL's associate laboratory director for Computing and Computational Sciences.

With peak performance of 18.5 teraflops (trillion calculations per second), ORNL's Cray X1E supercomputer is one of the most powerful high performance computing (HPC) systems in the world. Most HPC systems today achieve less than 10 percent of their peak performance on very challenging scientific problems. The Cray X1E system's high-bandwidth, low-latency Cray® architecture enables it to sustain far higher percentages on these problems, making the Cray system even more powerful in practice.

The five grand challenge problems already running in production mode at large scale on ORNL's Cray X1E supercomputer include:

--  Combustion simulation. The Cray X1E supercomputer will make practical
    the first 3-D numerical simulations of an ignition flame fed by a fuel-air
    mix, with detailed chemistry. This will help manufacturers to design next-
    generation combustion devices. Simulation runs using the S3D software
    application can be completed in weeks, as opposed to months or years on
    other HPC systems.
    
--  Precise calculations of molecular structures. Chemists are using the
    Cray X1E system and a new parallel-vector algorithm to perform precise
    (full-configuration interaction) calculations of molecular structures many
    times larger than were possible with other computer systems. Understanding
    these structures is critically important for a wide range of pursuits, from
    studying contaminant dispersion in the environment to developing treatments
    for genetic diseases.
    
--  Plasma energy research. The Cray X1E system runs the world's fastest,
    most-detailed simulations of waves used to control plasma, gaseous matter
    superheated enough to generate massive amounts of energy. The simulation is
    related to the multibillion-dollar ITER project, which aims to tame plasma
    so it can later become a virtually inexhaustible supply of 'clean'
    electricity. High-resolution simulations of the heated plasma take weeks,
    compared with years on other computer systems.
    
--  Accelerator design. Researchers will use the Cray X1E supercomputer to
    help determine the optimal shape for the accelerator chamber inside the
    International Linear Collider (ILC). The ILC is the highest-priority future
    accelerator project in high-energy physics and simulations are currently
    under way using the Omega3P code developed under the Department of Energy's
    SciDAC program.
    
--  Supernova research. The core collapse of a supernova -- a massive star
    at the end of its life -- creates a shock wave known as a stationary
    accretion shock instability (SASI) that may cause the star to explode. The
    Cray X1E system's computing power allows scientists to perform each 3-D
    SASI simulation in 1-2 days, compared with one month today, greatly
    speeding research.
    
"We are excited that the Cray X1E system is already enabling research communities to make breakthrough advances on a range of grand challenge science problems," said Cray President and CEO Peter Ungaro. "We are committed to helping ORNL meet its aggressive goal to create the world's most powerful computing resource for open science."

About ORNL

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a multiprogram laboratory managed for the Department of Energy by UT-Battelle.

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 www.cray.com for more information.

Safe Harbor Statement

This press release contains forward-looking statements. There are certain factors that could cause Cray's execution plans to differ materially from those anticipated by the statements above. These include the technical challenges of developing high-performance computing systems, the successful porting of application programs to Cray computer systems, reliance on third-party suppliers and Cray's ability to keep up with rapid technological change. 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 X1E is a trademark, of Cray Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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