HPC News: Cray, NVIDIA Win Supercomputing Contracts

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Cray and NVIDIA land multi-million deals in high performance computing (HPC) engagements:

Cray awarded $39 million Supercomputer contract

Cray announced it has been awarded a $39 million contract from the North-German Supercomputing Alliance (HLRN) to deliver a distributed Cray XC30 supercomputing system. HLRN is an alliance amongst seven states in Northern Germany and the new supercomputer will be operated from the Zuse Institute Berlin and Lebniz University in Hannover. At these two sites the Cray XC30 will act as one combined system, providing universities and research centers in the northern states of Germany with a powerful petascale computing resource.

“Researchers in Northern Germany will soon benefit from a significant increase in computing power as a result of procuring the new HLRN-III system from Cray,” said Prof. Dr. Thomas Rung, head of the Scientific Board of the HLRN. “The Cray XC30 offers a flexible computing architecture that will fulfill our need for advanced supercomputing technologies now and into the future. This is an exciting moment for the scientific community across the northern states of Germany.”

Previously code-named Cascade, the Cray XC30 features the new HPC-optimized Aries system interconnect, a new Dragonfly topology that frees applications from locality constraints, and the ability to incorporate a variety of processor types including the Intel Xeon processors. The multi-phase $39 million contract will have the majority of the system  delivered and put into production in 2013.

NVIDIA wins DARPA contract

NVIDIA announced that it has been awarded a contract worth up to $20 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to research embedded processor technologies that could lead to dramatic improvements in the ability of autonomous vehicles to collect and process data from on-board sensors.  As a five year contract the money will fund research for processors that are 75-times more energy efficient than current embedded solutions. The goal is to enable surveillance and computer vision systems in ground and airborne vehicles to collect and analyze vastly more data than can be processed today in real time.

“The technologies developed with this program can transform the capabilities of embedded systems, making autonomous vehicles more practical and intelligent,” said Steve Keckler, senior director of Architecture Research at NVIDIA. “This research will help NVIDIA continue to advance mobile computing for both government and consumer applications.”

The NVIDIA program, known as Project Osprey, will research low-power circuits and extremely efficient architectures and programming systems that enable 75 gigaflops per watt, using process technologies as advanced as 7 nanometer (nm) compared with today’s 28-nm process.

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