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Cascade Supercomputer to be installed at Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 7:20am

Cascade Supercomputer to be installed at Swiss National Supercomputing Centre

Cray announced it has been awarded a contract to provide the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) with a next-generation Cray supercomputer code-named “Cascade” and a next-generation Cray Sonexion storage system. The Cascade system will be located at CSCS’s new high performance computing facility, which was inaugurated last month in Lugano, Switzerland.

The combination of Cascade and the Sonexion storage system will equip researchers and scientists in Switzerland with some of Cray’s most advanced, high performance computing (HPC) technologies, while reinforcing the Centre’s mission of ensuring that the Swiss scientific and industrial communities have the supercomputing resources necessary to stay competitive on an international level.

CSCS, the Swiss innovation driver in HPC, has a track record of acquiring very early versions of new generations of supercomputing architectures. For several years now, Cray and CSCS have worked together to provide the Centre’s users with a broad array of cutting-edge HPC technologies.

“We are very proud of the long and close partnership we have developed with CSCS,” said Dr. Ulla Thiel, Cray vice president, Europe. “We are thrilled to be installing a large, next-generation Cray supercomputer at CSCS later this year. This system will be an excellent base for an ambitious joint research and co-development program, and will enable the scientific users of CSCS to be at the forefront of technology.”

Cray’s Cascade supercomputer, which is expected to be widely available in 2013, is the next step in Cray’s Adaptive Supercomputing vision. The system will feature major advancements to the Cray Linux Environment, Cray’s HPC-optimized programming environment, and a next-generation interconnect chipset called Aries. The Cascade supercomputer is in part made possible by Cray’s participation in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) High Productivity Computing Systems program.

The Cascade system that will be delivered to CSCS will go into production in 2013 and is expected to deliver a peak performance of 750 TFlops/s. Acquiring the system is CSCS’s first-step in a multi-year program supporting the Swiss national strategy for HPC. Cascade’s new architectural features, in particular the cutting-edge interconnect technology and processor options, will help Swiss scientists to advance key research in areas such as material science, climate modeling, geosciences, molecular biology and biomedical engineering.

“The new Cascade system will give our science community the opportunity to bear the fruits of application developments within the Swiss HP2C platform,” said CSCS director, Professor Thomas Schulthess. “In particular, developers’ investments into hybrid and future computing architectures will be rewarded by Cray’s next-generation supercomputer.”

The next-generation Cray Sonexion storage system brings together an integrated file system, software and storage offering that has been designed specifically for a wide-range of HPC workloads, providing users with an integrated, scalable storage solution that is easy to install and maintain. Cray’s Sonexion storage system combines powerful servers, the latest Lustre parallel file system and efficient management software into a modular and scalable storage product that is tested at scale, and supported as a complete solution by Cray.

About CSCS

Founded in 1991, CSCS, the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre, develops and promotes technical and scientific services for the Swiss research community in the fields of high-performance computing. CSCS enables world-class scientific research by pioneering, operating and supporting leading-edge supercomputing technologies. The centre collaborates with domestic and foreign researchers, and carries out its own research in scientific computing. Located in Lugano, in the southern, Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, CSCS is an autonomous unit of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH Zurich).

About Cray

Cray provides highly advanced supercomputers and world-class services and support to government, industry and academia. Cray technology is designed to enable 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 is focused on delivering 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 www.cray.com for more information.

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