Cray building ARM-based supercomputer


Cray customers will have a complete Arm-based supercomputer that features a full software environment, including the Cray Linux Environment, the Cray Programming Environment, and Arm-optimized compilers, libraries, and tools for running today’s supercomputing workloads.

Cray enhanced its compiler and programming environment to achieve more performance out of the Cavium ThunderX2 processors. In a head-to-head comparison of 135 standard HPC benchmarks, Cray’s compiler showed performance advantages in two-thirds of the benchmarks, and showed significant (more than 20%) performance advantage in one-third of the tests, versus other public domain Armv8 compilers from LLVM and GNU.

“With the integration of Arm processors into our flagship Cray XC50 systems, we will offer our customers the world’s most flexible supercomputers,” says Cray’s Fred Kohout,  “adding Arm processors complements our system’s ability to support a variety of host processors, and gives customers a unique, leadership-class supercomputer for compute, simulation, big data analytics, and deep learning. Our software engineers built the industry’s best Arm toolset to maximize customer value from the system, which is representative of the R&D work we do every day to build on our leadership position in supercomputing.”

Cray is currently working with multiple supercomputing centers on the development of Arm-based supercomputing systems, including various labs in the United States Department of Energy and the GW4 alliance – a coalition of four leading, research-intensive universities in the UK. Through an alliance with Cray and the Met Office in the UK, GW4 is designing and building “Isambard,” an Arm-based Cray XC50 supercomputer.

Cray XC50 supercomputers with the Cavium ThunderX2 processors will be available in both liquid-cooled cabinets and air-cooled cabinets to address a variety of datacenter needs. Compute blades can be mixed and matched with Intel Xeon Scalable processors, Intel Xeon Phi processors, and NVIDIA® Tesla GPU accelerators. The Arm-based Cray XC50 supercomputers will be available in the second quarter of 2018.

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