Cray aims to stay in big leagues with XC40 supercomputers

Cray's XC40 will be used in the U.S. Department of Energy's Trinity and other supercomputers

Cray has added more horsepower to its latest supercomputer, the XC40, and already has scored some big-time customers.

The XC40, announced on Tuesday, is based on Intel's new Xeon E5-2600 v3 server chip series, code-named Grantley, which was unveiled earlier this month. The supercomputer has a complement of new technologies that provide faster access to memory and storage, which boosts overall computing power.

Cray has made some of the world's fastest computers, including what is currently the world's second fastest supercomputer, Titan, which operates at a peak speed of 27 petaflops. The XC40 will serve as the basis for a U.S. Department of Energy supercomputer called Trinity, which is due for deployment in 2016 and will have 82 petabytes of distributed storage.

The processors in XC40 are two times faster than chips in its predecessor, the XC30, according to Cray. The new supercomputer will provide throughput of 1.7Tbps (terabytes per second) for internal data transfers, which is faster than the Titan system.

A new technology in XC40 called DataWarp brings solid-state drives closer to processors, so data will travel a shorter distance, speeding up program execution. SSDs are used as cache, where data is temporarily stored before being dispatched for processing or to long-term storage. The SSDs will plug into PCI-Express 3.0 slots, which provide faster throughput than traditional SATA controllers used for storage.

A revamped version of Cray's Aries interconnect will hook up server closets, storage arrays and other components. Co-processors such as Intel's Xeon Phi and Nvidia's Tesla can also be installed in supercomputers to speed up specific calculations. The Xeon Phi will have support for DDR4 memory, which is faster and more power efficient than widely used DDR3 memory.

The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre in Lugano, Switzerland, will starting using an XC40-based supercomputer in late 2014 for research in areas like geology, biology, material science and meteorology, Cray also noted.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags supercomputersHigh performancehardware systemsCray

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?