Seattle, WA and Lugano, Switzerland –  Global supercomputer leader Cray announced that it has signed a contract with the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) to upgrade and expand its Cray XC30 supercomputer. When the upgrade and expansion is completed, the Centre’s Cray XC system, nicknamed “Piz Daint” after a mountain in the Swiss Alps, will be the first petascale supercomputer in Switzerland.

In September 2012, Cray announced it was awarded a contract to provide CSCS with a 750-teraflop Cray XC30 supercomputer and a Cray Sonexion storage system. Under the terms of this new contract, Cray will upgrade Piz Daint to include NVIDIA® Tesla® K20X GPU accelerators. CSCS is the first customer to order a Cray XC supercomputer with NVIDIA GPUs.

Located in Lugano, Switzerland, CSCS is one of the premier high performance computing (HPC) facilities, and is focused on ensuring the Swiss scientific and industrial communities have the supercomputing resources necessary to stay competitive on an international level. As a result of the upgrade to Piz Daint, the Centre’s researchers and scientists will be able to leverage the innovative processor and accelerator technologies featured in the Cray XC supercomputer towards advancing key research in areas such as material science, molecular biology, climate and atmospheric modeling, and geoscience.

“Piz Daint will help advance the research projects of our diverse user community by leaps and bounds,” said Thomas Schulthess, director of CSCS. “With GPU acceleration integrated into Cray’s latest generation supercomputer, the application performance and the energy efficiency of our simulations will improve significantly. We are very excited about the collaborative development of a truly general-purpose, hybrid multi-core system with Cray.”

“The upgrade to Piz Daint into a petascale supercomputing system is yet another example of the strong leadership of CSCS to consistently provide researchers and scientists within the Swiss HPC community with the latest supercomputing technologies,” said Dr. Ulla Thiel, Cray vice president, Europe. “We are honored to continue our collaborative partnership with CSCS, and we are very excited to provide CSCS users with the computational tools they need to achieve breakthrough scientific results.”

Previously code-named “Cascade,” the Cray XC30 supercomputer is Cray’s most advanced HPC system and is engineered to meet the performance challenges of HPC users. The Cray XC30 supercomputer features the new Aries system interconnect; a Dragonfly network topology that frees applications from locality constraints; an innovative cooling system that utilizes a transverse airflow to lower customers’ total cost of ownership; the next-generation of the scalable, high performance Cray Linux Environment that also supports a wide range of ISV applications; Cray’s HPC optimized programming environment; and the ability to handle a wide variety of processor types, including Intel® Xeon® processors, Intel® Xeon Phi™ coprocessors, and NVIDIA Tesla GPU accelerators.

The Cray Sonexion storage system at CSCS has more than two petabytes of usable storage and more than 100 gigabytes-per-second of sustained aggregate IO performance. Cray’s Sonexion Lustre System for HPC provides an embedded, compact design that can reduce the overall storage footprint by up to 50 percent over component-based solutions. Sonexion ensures consistency and predictability when scaling Lustre, and offers precision performance, optimal scalability, and an open solution for HPC and Big Data in a compact form factor.

This contract is valued at more than $32 million, and the upgraded system is expected to be operational in 2014.


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 Inc.

Global supercomputing leader Cray Inc. (Nasdaq: CRAY) provides innovative systems and solutions enabling scientists and engineers in industry, academia and government to meet existing and future simulation and analytics challenges. Leveraging 40 years of experience in developing and servicing the world’s most advanced supercomputers, Cray offers a comprehensive portfolio of high performance computing (HPC) systems, storage, and Big Data solutions delivering unrivaled performance, efficiency and scalability. 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 for more information.