NCSA and Cray partner on Blue Waters supercomputer

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The University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) has turned to Cray to provide its supercomputer for the National Science Foundation's Blue Waters project.

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.

More than 25 teams, from a dozen research fields, are preparing to achieve breakthroughs by using Blue Waters to model a broad range of phenomena, including: nanotechnology’s minute molecular assemblies, the evolution of the universe since the Big Bang, the damage caused by earthquakes and the formation of tornadoes, the mechanism by which viruses enter cells, and improved climate change predictions.

Blue Waters will be composed of more than 235 Cray XE6 cabinets based on the recently announced AMD Opteron 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 Tesla 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.