Cray awarded $45M from DOE for new super

Cray just announced that the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Agency has awarded it a $45M contract for a new super to be installed at Los Alamos National Lab.

Cray logoCray today announced that it has signed a sub-contract with Los Alamos National Security, LLC to provide the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) with a next-generation Cray supercomputer. Currently valued at more than $45 million, the multi-year, multi-phase contract can be expanded if the NNSA exercises an option for a future upgrade. The new system will create a new supercomputing platform, named Cielo, for the Advanced Simulation and Computing program at the NNSA.

The NNSA worries about safety and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear stockpile, and Cielo will be bent to that task once complete. The system is Cray’s next generation “Baker” system, featuring its new “Gemini” interconnect. This is the same kind of system that the DoD just purchased $45M of in late February.

The next-generation Cray supercomputer will be housed at the Strategic Computing Complex at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and is expected to be delivered in the second half of 2010. Code-named “Baker,” Cray’s new supercomputing system will feature a new interconnect chipset known as “Gemini” and enhanced system software that improves the performance, productivity and reliability of the system. Cray’s planned “Baker” supercomputer builds on the Cray XT system architecture found in the world’s fastest supercomputer and improves it in every key dimension.

The DoD award is for systems at three different sites, while Cielo looks like one big system. Still, $90M of parts is a lot of equipment, none of which has been previously deployed. Both acquisitions are for delivery in the second half of this year, and both carry non-performance penalties. If Cray misses on its Gemini interconnect (or the software that makes it all go) the company could be in for some very rough financials later this year.

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