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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

March 18, 2009 at 10:08 AM

Cray’s new bargain supercomputer, the Xbox circa 2020?

Cheaper computers are the hottest part of the market nowadays, and Cray’s not going to miss the trend.

The Seattle supercomputer maker today announced a lower priced version of its petascale XT5 mega super duper computer, aimed at penny pinching researchers in government, academia and business. Maybe now Melinda will finally let Bill get an XT5 for the rec room.

Starting at $500,000, the “midrange” XT5m runs a version of Cray’s SeaStar network designed for systems with peak performance less than 100 teraflops. It comes in up to six cabinets filled with quad-core AMD Opteron processors and a SeaStar-based 2D torus interconnect.

(If that’s still too much, there’s always the starter supercomputer that Cray introduced last fall – the CX1, starting at $25,000 and holding up to 16 Intel Xeon processors.)

Paris-based ESI Group has been using an XT5m to simulate car crashes.

“Thanks to our new parallel paradigm design, we can confirm excellent scalability up to 1024 CPU cores investigating a 2-million elements size car-to-car crash scenario. The computation time was brought down to 25 minutes including domain decomposition and result file merging,” ESI crash and safety technical director, Raymond Ni, said in the release.

If today’s supercomputers are tomorrow’s PC, this may be your grandchild’s Xbox.

Cray XT5m.jpg

Comments | Topics: Cray, Enterprise, supercomputer

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