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Cray targets midrange market

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Cray is increasing its efforts to provide affordably-priced supercomputers to customers in the midrange supercomputing market. With prices starting at $200,000, an expanded base of researchers, scientists and engineers can now purchase a Cray system that combines the integrated features of the company’s high-end supercomputers with the ease-of-use and affordability of its previous line of CX systems.

Cray’s entry-level midrange configuration combines the lower system cost and wide breadth of software application support previously found only in the Cray CX1 and Cray CX1000 systems with the petascale technologies and scalable architecture of the Cray XE6m and Cray XK6m line. Features include the company’s Gemini interconnect, the latest version of the Cray Linux Environment, AMD Opteron 6200 Series processors and Nvidia Tesla GPUs.

The new offering features enhancements to Cray’s Cluster Compatibility Mode (CCM), which gives customers the ability to run applications from Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) without modification. First introduced in April 2010, CCM is a fully standard x86 Linux environment that allows for simple, out-of-the box installation and running of parallel ISV applications without porting, re-linking or recompilation. This latest version of CCM, which continues support for multiple MPI libraries, also includes a number of new improvements that are designed to increase performance.

With this expansion of midrange products, the company has addressed the price-sensitive product application space with the Cray XE and Cray XK architectures, which scale up or configure down across the performance spectrum. This delivers an improved compatibility over the Cray product lines, supporting migration of applications while delivering a price/performance package from 6.5 teraflops. These lower-cost Cray XE6m and Cray XK6m systems will now also target the market segments and customers that were previously served by the Cray CX line.