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Cray Targets the CAE/CFD Market with New XD1 Supercomputer
Posted Thu October 07, 2004 @11:20AM
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Hardware techman wrote in:

Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. has announced that the company is targeting computer-aided engineering (CAE) as a primary market for its new Cray XD1(TM) Opteron/Linux-based supercomputer. The Cray XD1 product is "purpose-built" for high performance computing (HPC) applications, including CAE problems, and features breakthrough innovations in interconnect technology, high availability and ease of management.

Cray is working with leading Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to exploit the Cray XD1 system's advantages on widely used CAE applications. With U.S. list pricing starting at under $100,000, the Cray XD1 system promises to substantially outperform conventional Linux clusters in the same price range.

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"The Cray XD1 stands out from the competition because it combines a very high-speed interconnect, high-scalability and high-availability features, and unique possibilities for additional application acceleration," said Rich Partridge, enterprise systems analyst at D.H. Brown Associates. "It's no surprise that major ISVs are rapidly aligning themselves with Cray to exploit this innovative system for CAE applications."

The Cray XD1 supercomputer is specifically designed to enable CAE users and their employers to bring higher-quality products to market faster and at lower overall cost than Linux clusters and other alternatives in the Cray XD1 system's price range. The new product makes true supercomputer performance available for the first time at mainstream pricing and in a familiar environment -- the Cray XD1 supercomputer runs all x86 Linux applications using the MPI programming model.

"Cray will focus initially on the automotive, aerospace and marine segments within the CAE market," said Himanshu Misra, CAE business manager at Cray. "We have a long and proud history in these markets, more than any other HPC vendor, having sold the first supercomputer into the automotive industry in 1979. And Cray pioneered the use of HPC with CAE customers, such as Ford, Boeing, the Army High Performance Computing Center and others."

Cray is currently working with more than a dozen ISVs on CAE codes for the XD1, including Abaqus, Inc., ACUSIM Software, Inc., CD Adapco, ESI Group, Fluent, Livermore Software Technology Corporation, Mecalog SARL, and Software CRADLE, plus a co-development effort with Oceanic specifically for the Marine industry. Misra added that additional ISV agreements are expected in the coming months.

About the Cray XD1 Supercomputer

With U.S. list prices starting under $100,000, the Cray XD1 supercomputer combines AMD's Opteron(TM) processors and HyperTransport(TM) technology with an advanced Cray interconnect to provide industry leading performance and value. Designed for superior sustained application performance, the Cray XD1 system uses the direct connected processor architecture to directly link processors to each other and memory, eliminating interconnect bottlenecks and providing 30 times greater bandwidth and 30 times lower latency than typical cluster systems available today.

HPC users can also take advantage of the Cray XD1 system's sophisticated management, self-monitoring and self-healing features to simplify system administration and ensure high availability. Other Cray XD1 innovations include applications acceleration capability based on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) linked directly to processors over the Cray XD1 interconnect.

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