Cray acquires Gnodal research staff and IP in Europe

The new staff will help develop new Cray technology and complete ongoing R&D contracts, Cray said

Supercomputer maker Cray has hired the founders and key engineers of Gnodal who will be working to develop new technology.

Gnodal in Bristol, England, was founded in 2007 and specializes in high-performance networks that can be used in data centers. Its technology aims to significantly reduce power usage and running costs. The company went into administration in October under local laws for insolvency.

In addition to hiring the majority of Gnodal's engineering staff, Cray also purchased the key intellectual property (IP) developed by the Gnodal team including patents and design copyrights, the company said Friday. The extra people and IP will be used to help drive Cray's future systems and complete ongoing R&D contracts, the company said.

Cray has been expanding its R&D team in Europe since the launch of its Exascale Research Initiative in Europe in 2009, the company said, adding that currently it is adding significant hardware and software development activities to its operations in Europe.

In Europe, Cray is building a XC30 supercomputer for the University of Edinburgh in Scotland that could be among the top 15 supercomputers. The computer will be used for weather, life sciences, aerospace and other research and will offer 5 petabytes of storage and 100 gigabytes per-second of applications performance.

The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) selected a Cray XC30 supercomputer to aid its weather prediction as did the German meteorological service DWD that ordered two XC30's.

The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) also uses a Cray XC30 system that it decided to upgrade with Nvidia graphics processors in April in order to more accurately predict the weather in the Swiss Alps.

Last December, Cray was also awarded a US$39 million contract from the North-German Supercomputing Alliance (HLRN) to deliver a distributed Cray XC30 supercomputing system. It will be operated at sites in Berlin and Hanover to support advanced scientific research in fields such as environmental research, climate and ocean modeling, physics, chemistry, bio-informatics, engineering, and fluid dynamics.

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