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When Applications Go Exascale — The CRESTA Project


Seymour Cray, the pioneer of supercomputing, famously asked if you would rather plough a field with two strong oxen or 1024 chickens. The question has since been answered for us: power restrictions have driven CPU manufacturers away from "oxen" (powerful single-core devices) towards multi- and many-core "chickens." An exascale supercomputer will take this a leap further, connecting tens of thousands of many-core nodes, leaving application programmers with the challenge of efficiently harnessing the computing power of tens of millions of threads. This challenge is not just for the applications themselves, but everything underneath — from the operating and runtime systems, through the communication and scientific libraries to the … [Read more...]

Hadoop for Scientific Big Data – Maslow’s Hammer or Swiss Army Knife?

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The Law of the Instrument (aka Maslow’s Hammer) is an over-reliance on a familiar tool — or, as my grandfather used to say “when the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.” I’m sure this principle comes to mind as many professionals within the scientific computing community are being asked to investigate the appropriateness of Hadoop® — today’s most familiar Big Data tool. When used inappropriately, and incorporating technologies not suited for scientific Big Data, using Hadoop may indeed feel like wielding a cumbersome hammer. But when used appropriately, and with a technology stack that’s specifically suited to the realities of scientific Big Data, Hadoop can feel like a Swiss Army … [Read more...]

Cray Supercomputers Powering Scientific Research in Chemistry and Life Sciences

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In recent months, several chemistry and life sciences organizations have turned to Cray supercomputers to power their scientific research. Among them we welcome Duke University, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Université Laval in Canada, S.N. Bose in India, and the PDC Center for High-Performance Computing at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden, as well as a number of leading pharmaceutical companies and biotechs. These organizations are doing groundbreaking work, and providing them with Cray supercomputers is representative of our growing presence in this vitally important segment. Chemistry and life sciences researchers are certainly no strangers to HPC. In fact, as part of the 2013 HPCwire … [Read more...]

Scaling Performance of Explicit Structural Applications

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A few months back I wrote a blog on “Extreme Scaling in CAE Applications” which showed results for CFD applications scaling to over 10,000 cores. This blog will focus on the scaling performance of explicit structural analysis applications (often referred to as “crash simulation” applications). There has been increased emphasis and significant improvements in the scaling of the explicit structural codes. Because these codes are important across several industries, this work merits a separate post. Background The most popular explicit structural analysis codes are Abaqus/Explicit, LS-DYNA®, PAM-CRASH®, and RADIOSS®. These applications are heavily used in the automotive industry for crash and safety analysis. They are also … [Read more...]

Infographic: The Cray Transformation

The Cray Transformation

At Cray, we have been building high-performance computing systems for more than 40 years. Over that time, we have stood firm at the cutting edge of technology developments, providing our customers with the tools they need to solve some of the most rigorous computational problems. This infographic exemplifies our transformation and broadened product portfolio to include supercomputing, storage and big data solutions. … [Read more...]