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Oak Ridge awards supercomputing contract to Cray

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The US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has awarded a contract to Cray to increase the Jaguar supercomputer's science impact and energy efficiency. The upgrade, which will provide advanced capabilities in modelling and simulation, will transform the DOE Office of Science-supported Cray XT5 system, currently capable of 2.3 million billion calculations per second (petaflops), into a Cray XK6 system with a peak speed between 10 and 20 petaflops.

The new system will employ the latest AMD Opteron central processing units as well as Nvidia Tesla graphics processing units — energy-efficient processors that accelerate specific types of calculations in scientific application codes. The last phase of the upgrade is expected to be completed in late 2012. The system, which will be known as Titan, will be ready for users in early 2013.

With 299,008 cores and 600 terabytes of memory for solving critical problems, Titan will continue the legacy of its predecessor as one of the nation's most powerful tools for science. The computationally intense numerical experiments that will run on the system will focus on DOE priorities in energy technology and science research.

Titan's pioneering simulation projects will include the commercially viable production of biofuels and biomaterials from cellulosic materials, such as switchgrass and poplar trees. Another project investigates combustion, responsible for most energy use, to burn fuels cleanly in efficient engines.