Cray announced early this morning that it has inked another big deal, this time to provide NOAA with both a Cray XT6 and the next generation Baker system. This is one of the large awards that CEO Ungaro referenced but didn’t name in the Q1 earnings call a couple weeks ago. At that time he said Cray was close to closing $90M in two deals; now we know the other one is another $40M deal too. As I’ve pointed out before, much/most of this new business depends on Baker due out in the last quarter of this year. If Baker slips Cray’s losses this year are likely to be quite large. But, on to today’s news. The good news is that this particular Baker purchase isn’t slated to be installed until next year.
The purchase is being made with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which is odd for a climate-based supercomputer. I don’t see a lot of jobs or economic recovery coming out of this purchase, although in general I’m of course in favor of buying new supercomputers.
“The new Cray system will give the climate modeling community the ability to study climate change and its impact on our planet with a dramatic increase in computational capability,” said James Hack, who heads climate research at ORNL and directs the National Center for Computational Sciences. “The deployment of this system will allow NOAA scientists and their collaborators to study systems of greater complexity and at higher resolution, and in the process will hopefully improve the fidelity of global climate modeling simulations.”
Consisting of products and services, the contract is valued at $47 million. The multi-year, multi-phase agreement includes the delivery of a Cray XT6 supercomputer and a delivery of a next-generation Cray supercomputer code-named “Baker.” Phase one of the contract, the delivery of the Cray XT6 system, is expected to go into production in the second half of 2010. Phase two of the contract, which includes the delivery of the additional “Baker” system and upgrading the Cray XT6 system to a “Baker” supercomputer, is expected to be complete in 2011. Additional upgrades are planned for 2012.