Energy Firm's Cray System One of World's Largest Commercial Supercomputer Deployments

Petroleum Geo-Services signs contract with Cray for 5-petaflop system to use in oil-and-gas exploration

John Rath

March 26, 2015

1 Min Read
Energy Firm's Cray System One of World's Largest Commercial Supercomputer Deployments
Cray XC40 HPC system (Image: Cray)

Cray announced it has been awarded a contract for a 5-petaflop supercomputer for Norwegian oil-and-gas company Petroleum Geo-Services.

One of the fastest supercomputer systems deployed by a private-sector organization and one of the supercomputer vendor's largest commercial sales ever, the PGS solution is comprised of a Cray XC40 supercomputer and Cray Sonexion 2000 storage system. PGS will use the system to produce high-resolution seismic maps and three-dimensional models of the earth's sub-surface, which oil-and-gas companies use to explore and produce offshore reserves worldwide, according to Cray.

The Top500 list of fastest supercomputers in the world is dominated by public-sector entities. Cray noted that the PGS system will be among the largest commercial supercomputers deployed. At 5 petaflops, the new system would likely rank in the top 10 supercomputers in the world, where three systems are currently Cray installations.

Launched late last year the new XC40 focused on driving down cost for I/O-intensive applications and includes Cray's DataWarp I/O accelerator technology. The XC40 is expandable to 100 petaflops and is loaded with the latest Intel Xeon processors, Intel Phi coprocessors, Cray's Aries system interconnect, and a number of other HPC-optimized features. Its scale-out Sonexion 2000 storage solution can scale to over 2 petabytes in a single rack and performs at 1.7 terabytes per second in a single file system.

"With the Cray supercomputer, our imaging capabilities will leapfrog to a whole new level," Guillaume Cambois, executive vice president of imaging and engineering at PGS, said in a statement. "We are using this technology investment to secure our market lead in broadband imaging and position ourselves for the future."

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