Sandia and Cray finalise $90 million supercomputer contract

Sandia National Laboratories and Cray have finalised a $90 million contract under which Cray will collaborate with Sandia to develop Red Storm, a massively parallel supercomputer.

The US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories and Cray have finalised a multiyear contract, valued at approximately $90 million, under which Cray will collaborate with Sandia to develop and deliver a new massively parallel processing (MPP) supercomputer called Red Storm.

Cray will deliver a system with theoretical peak performance of 40 trillion calculations per second (teraOPS) using two calculations/clock cycle, or 20 teraOPS using one calculation/clock cycle.

Red Storm is expected to become operational in fiscal year 2004, and will use the upcoming Advanced Micro Devices Opteron processors connected via a low-latency, high-bandwidth, three-dimensional mesh interconnect network based on HyperTransport technology.

This system is expected to be at least seven times more powerful than Sandia’s current ASCI Red supercomputer, which is used on weapons simulations.

‘This computer will allow modelling and simulation of complex problems that were only recently thought impractical, if not impossible,’ said Tom Hunter, Sandia Senior Vice President for Nuclear Weapons Programs. ‘Calculations that would have taken months only a dozen years ago will now be done in a matter of minutes.’