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

February 24, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Cray scores military hat trick, with inside edge?

Seattle supercomputer maker Cray’s stock is up nearly 3 percent to $5.31 this morning after it announced a major defense contract, putting three of its next generation systems into military facilities around the country.

Cray won all three of the supercomputer contracts awarded by the Department of Defense’s 2010 High Performance Computing Modernization Program, a $45 million deal for the company and the largest award to a single vendor in the program’s history, Cray said in a release.

Cray may have had an edge in the bidding: The director of the Defense Department program is named Cray Henry. From the release:

“To solve today’s hardest research and development challenges, we have to employ leading-edge scalable software and the world’s fastest supercomputers,” said Mr. Cray Henry, director of the DoD’s HPCMP. “We are excited to get the next generation Cray supercomputers working to solve our problems.”

Cray’s going to install the Crays at “supercomputing resource centers” at the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio; the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center in Fairbanks, Alaska; and the Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss. Combined with a 2008 contract, Cray will have supercomputers at five of the six Defense supercomputing centers in the U.S.

The systems will support “basic and applied research, and product development and evaluation.” That includes developing new materials, fuels, armor and weapon systems and long-term weather predictions.

Due for delivery in the second half of the year, the “Baker” generation systems based on Cray’s XT have new “Gemini” interconnect chipsets and new software.

Comments | Topics: Cray, department of defense, supercomputer

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