IBM pulled out of their contract with the NCSA 3 months ago for a supercomputer situated on the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus, a facility I was able to tour less than a year and a half ago. The new partner announced today is Cray Inc., The Supercomputer Company.
This new Cray supercomputer will support significant research advances in a broad range of science and engineering domains, meeting the needs of the most compute-intensive, memory-intensive, and data-intensive applications. Blue Waters is expected to deliver sustained performance, on average, of more than one petaflops on a set of benchmark codes that represent those applications and domains.
Blue Waters will be composed of more than 235 Cray XE6 cabinets based on the recently announced AMD Opteron(TM) 6200 Series processor (formerly code-named “Interlagos”) and more than 30 cabinets of a future version of the recently announced Cray XK6 supercomputer with NVIDIA(R) Tesla(TM) GPU computing capability incorporated into a single, powerful hybrid supercomputer. These Cray XK nodes will further increase the measured sustained performance on real science problems.
Using AMD chips has a special tie to U of I – AMD founder Jerry Sanders attended the University and would later found AMD with a group of engineers with him taking the CEO role.
The contract is a $188 million deal and Cray shares are up following the news announced at Seattle’s International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis.
Consisting of products and services, the multi-phase, multi-year contract is valued at $188 million. The Cray supercomputer will be installed in multiple phases over the first three quarters of 2012 at the University of Illinois’ National Petascale Computing Facility. The integrated XE6 and XK6 supercomputer will feature new 16-core AMD (NYSE: AMD) Opteron(TM) 6200 Series processors (formerly code-named “Interlagos”), a next-generation GPU from NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA), called “Kepler,” and a new integrated storage solution from Cray. Acceptance of the complete system is anticipated to occur in the fourth quarter of 2012.