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This Is Not Your Grandmother’s Accelerated System

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Last week we announced the GPU-dense Cray CS-Storm cluster supercomputer, a highly innovative production system for application acceleration. This system is a milestone for Cray and will provide researchers and end users with one of the most high performance systems available for accelerated application workloads. Let me describe the perfect storm of events that make NOW the right time for this type of solution.       Advanced Accelerator Technology Accelerator technology is advancing rapidly. With its ultra-fast ECC on-package memory and full double-precision floating point performance, the NVIDIA® Tesla™ K40 GPU accelerator makes it the right technology for productive work. Software Maturity and … [Read more...]

Unconventional ways Supercomputers are Used: Part 2

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We talk a lot about how high performance computing systems are on the forefront of science, but it's also fun to take a step back and look at some of the more unusual ways that supercomputers are impacting our lives. In a previous post, I discussed how supercomputing systems are being used in everything from ice cream physics to baseball and dirty diapers. Now we're back with part two of our series on unconventional uses of supercomputers. The Lord of the Rings Considering this movie’s high-flying, detailed special effects, I'm not surprised the director, Peter Jackson, turned to supercomputing to help create these lifelike experiences. To make the weather, buildings and vegetation accurate enough to turn J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth … [Read more...]

Cray Joins EU’s Push Toward Exascale Technologies

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Cray acquired the assets of Gnodal in Bristol, U.K. November of last year. From its start with sales and customer-support organizations in Europe, Cray has made significant additions to its R&D staff, its CTO office and other local teams. Acquiring Gnodal demonstrated Cray’s desire to grow this European R&D team, to collaborate and exchange information with other leaders in the European HPC environment as well as continue our push towards exascale technologies.  This collaboration is exemplified by Cray’s recent membership in the European Technology Platform for High-Performance Computing (ETP4HPC). European Technology Platforms are industry-led forums that collaborate with the European Commission (EC) in Brussels.  As … [Read more...]

Unconventional Ways Supercomputers are Used

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Supercomputers power a diverse array of scientific research, including calculating the airflow of aircrafts, simulating the earth’s climate, producing data for hurricane predictions to help save communities, providing managers with the tools to make smarter production decisions . . . the possibilities are endless. Enough about the obvious though. In this first of an ongoing series of posts, I’d like to introduce you to some of the more unexpected ways supercomputers are having an impact on our lives.  Believe me, you may be surprised. #1: Ice Cream A team of scientists are using fluid dynamic applications to study the behavior of "soft matter," which incorporates any material considered soft, including ice cream. That’s … [Read more...]

NERSC’s “Edison” Unleashed

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Now that our new flagship supercomputer Edison, a 2.5-petaflop Cray® XC30™, has been in full production mode for a couple of months, it seems like a good time to check in and see how scientists are using it. At the top of the list of hours used are teams of scientists studying the fundamentals of the standard model of particle physics, the structure of the Earth's subsurface, clustering of matter in the early universe, fusion energy, clean combustion, how salts bind to water, nano-characteristics of catalysts, table-top accelerators, carbon sequestration, and extreme climate events. If that seems like a diverse and intriguing array of topics, that's because it is.  NERSC, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, … [Read more...]