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Cray's X1E supercomputer
A new scalable supercomputer architecture is in the pipe, with hints at AMD architecture

Cray will introduce a new supercomputer platform dubbed BlackWidow later this year.  The system is designed for massive vector processing, although the company has not disclosed how many processors the new configuration will scale to.

"Building on the success of the Cray X1E system, the new BlackWidow supercomputer will give scientists and engineers a powerful computational tool that offers dramatically improved price/performance and enhanced capabilities designed to solve complex problems that are beyond the abilities of cluster systems using commodity processors," said Peter Ungaro, Cray's president and CEO. "The tightly integrated design will allow customers to configure an optimal mix of vector and scalar computing resources in a single supercomputer running the familiar Linux operating system. This will also give our Cray XT3 customers the opportunity to add high-bandwidth, vector capability in small, cost-effective increments."

Cray claims applications on Cray X1E and Cray X1 systems will need to be ported to the new architecture, implying that BlackWidow is not based on the same CPU architecture.  However, Cray does claim that its newest Opteron-based XT3 supercomputer and BlackWidow carry some design elements for scalable infrastructure, dubbed Rainier. This may indicate that BlackWidow is also Opteron-based.  The Cray XT3 supercomputer can come in light configurations of 320 cabinets, containing 96 processors per cabinet.

A special configuration of the XT3, dubbed Baker, is already scheduled to become the world's first publically revealed petaflop supercomputer and will reside at the Oak Ridge National Laboratories


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But can it still work without power?
By bunnyfubbles on 6/28/2006 3:56:04 PM , Rating: 1
Power-outage doomed the Cray computers in Jurassic Park...




RE: But can it still work without power?
By peternelson on 6/28/2006 3:59:24 PM , Rating: 2

Jurassic Park installation used Silicon Graphics, if I am not mistaken.

"You didn't say the magic word".


RE: But can it still work without power?
By littlebitstrouds on 6/28/06, Rating: 0
By Soccerman06 on 6/28/2006 4:48:57 PM , Rating: 2
Wait Cloning dinosaurs hasnt happened? I had a whole vacation planned for watching sheep getting eaten by a T-Rex.


By dice1111 on 6/28/2006 5:06:16 PM , Rating: 1
Really?

You mean all this time I thought...You just blew my mind!


RE: But can it still work without power?
By Topweasel on 6/28/2006 10:51:23 PM , Rating: 2
Depends, The Books had all the major computers like the DNA splicers being handled by Cray. I think they still made a reference to cray in the movie, but the only computers seen were SGI, who happens to also supply computers to ILM who did the CGI.



By Topweasel on 6/28/2006 10:52:05 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah doesn't matter because even if they weren't at the time they are the same company now.


By KHysiek on 6/29/2006 2:45:44 AM , Rating: 2
No. They were using SGIs.


RE: But can it still work without power?
By mizpicky on 6/29/2006 10:29:47 AM , Rating: 3
while there were some SGI machines shown in the movie, the main computer with the blinking lights was a (now defunct) Thinking Machines product.


By JazzDude on 7/14/2006 9:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
It may be a moot point, they were one and the same...
Cray Research merged with SGI (Silicon Graphics, Inc.) in February 1996. In August 1999, SGI created a separate Cray Research business unit to focus exclusively on the unique requirements of high-end supercomputing customers. Assets of this business unit were sold to Tera Computer Company in March 2000.
http://www.cray.com/about_cray/history.html <=info


BlackWidow indeed
By aos007 on 6/28/2006 5:22:46 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if the name BlackWidow comes from the fact that it will be used to aid in killing, tracking people and trampling on human rights overall. You know, military use, Echelon-style use and other weapons development, code breaking and information gathering/processing.

I may be getting too cynical but... nah.

Then again, just maybe, Gates foundation will get a cluster of these (along with a bunch of scientists) to run some protein folding and similar programs to aid in new drug development. Oh, but it runs Linux, doesn't it?




RE: BlackWidow indeed
By Hippiekiller on 6/28/2006 6:36:04 PM , Rating: 3
Hopefully they'll use to to track down and kill hippy pansies like you! WAR IS PEACE!


RE: BlackWidow indeed
By IronScrotum on 6/28/2006 7:53:27 PM , Rating: 2
LMAO. You just made my day


RE: BlackWidow indeed
By The Boston Dangler on 6/28/2006 7:56:31 PM , Rating: 1
Jackasses like you make it tough to defend the rights of anyone living in free countries. Please move to North Korea so noone has to hear your crap.


RE: BlackWidow indeed
By NT78stonewobble on 6/29/2006 3:55:47 AM , Rating: 1
With comments like these one can wonder whats dangling? :P

IMO... Black Widow is just a cool name. And a reeeal cool marketing trick. Now my brain can associate supercomputers (cool) with latex clad busty redheaded babes (sechsy) in one amazing name...


Interesting, but...
By BladeVenom on 6/28/2006 3:04:34 PM , Rating: 1
How many FPS can it get with F.E.A.R.




RE: Interesting, but...
By PT2006 on 6/28/2006 3:27:09 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
How many FPS can it get with F.E.A.R.

7 on the highest settings. And if you overclock the Cray.


RE: Interesting, but...
By Donegrim on 6/28/2006 3:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
Probably very few, considering it'd be running in VMware, without proper graphics drivers.


RE: Interesting, but...
By RyanLM on 6/30/2006 12:12:02 PM , Rating: 2
Zero

It's Linux Powered :(


Opteron
By Phynaz on 6/28/2006 3:13:45 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
This may indicate that BlackWidow is also Opteron-based.


Except thay said they perform better than commodity processors, and they also specifically state vector math.

This isn't using Opteron.




RE: Opteron
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 6/28/2006 3:26:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Except thay said they perform better than commodity processors, and they also specifically state vector math.

This isn't using Opteron.

Cray machines are set up with PEs and SEs. I would concur that the PEs aren't Opterons, but the SEs, which do not do vector calculations, seem to be on the same framework as the XT3. Draw your own conclusion.


RE: Opteron
By Federal on 6/28/2006 4:01:19 PM , Rating: 2
Cray has info on its site about the XT3:
Like previous MPP systems from Cray, the basic building block of the Cray XT3 System is a PE. Each PE contains an Opteron 64-bit processor, dedicated memory and a HyperTransport link to a dedicated Cray SeaStar communications engine. This design eliminates the scheduling complexities and asymmetric performance problems associated with clusters of SMPs. It ensures that performance is uniform across distributed memory processes—an absolute requirement for scalable algorithms.

Each Cray XT3 compute blade includes four compute PEs for high scalability in a small footprint. Service blades include two service PEs and provide PCI-X connectivity.
http://www.cray.com/products/xt3/


RE: Opteron
By Furen on 6/28/2006 9:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds to me like it'd use AMD's much-touted "Accelerators." Code would need to be "ported" in order to use these accelerators but Cray could use the same infrastructure that'll be used in regular AMD boxes, so development costs would be way less than going to a new architecture from scratch.


holy crap
By yacoub on 6/28/2006 2:27:23 PM , Rating: 2
So a "light" installation is 28,800 processors?? (320 cabinets w/ 90 procs per cabinet)




RE: holy crap
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 6/28/2006 2:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
I think its closer to 30,000. It's not exactly 90 per cab i think.


RE: holy crap
By stmok on 6/28/2006 2:45:23 PM , Rating: 2
...And its Linux powered. :-)

Me like! me like!


I have seen some Crays
By greenlant00 on 6/29/2006 9:05:02 AM , Rating: 2
My dad worked for them for over 10 years. Quite interesting to walk thru their facilities, and see them being built. Huge circuit boards with processors the entire lenght of the board, mounted in modular units, with over 1" water cooling. Not sure about the newer ones, but they are pushing the petaflops




RE: I have seen some Crays
By Phynaz on 6/29/2006 3:47:36 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not sure about the newer ones, but they are pushing the petaflops


The fastest Cray in the world is 36 Tereflops, far, far away from a Petaflop.

http://www.top500.org


Sounds like....
By MDme on 6/28/2006 5:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
"The tightly integrated design will allow customers to configure an optimal mix of vector and scalar computing resources in a single supercomputer running the familiar Linux operating system. This will also give our Cray XT3 customers the opportunity to add high-bandwidth, vector capability in small, cost-effective increments."


Sounds like co-procs maybe it's Torrenza




Moderated
By WEBPRO on 6/28/06, Rating: -1
"There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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