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Cray CS400 to Power Polar Research at Alfred Wegener Institute

polarToday Cray announced the Company has been awarded a contract to provide the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) with a Cray CS400 cluster supercomputer. Headquartered in Bremerhaven, Germany, AWI is one of the country’s premier research institutes within the Helmholtz Association, and is an internationally respected center of expertise for polar and marine research.

The new Cray HPC System will become the most innovative part of the AWI computing infrastructure and will further strengthen the position of our science and research activities,” said Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hiller, head of the AWI computing centre. “It will enable researchers at our institute to model the earth system and its components more efficiently with higher resolution and accuracy. It is also a new landmark in the long cooperation of the AWI computing centre with Cray, reaching back to the days when a Cray T3E system was one of our major work horses. That system led to major scientific results in modelling and understanding the Antarctic circumpolar current and the exchange of water masses between the world oceans in the Antarctic. Hence, we are looking forward to new exiting scientific research results which will be produced with the new system.”

The contract with AWI is the Company’s first for a Cray CS cluster supercomputer featuring the new Intel Omni-Path Architecture. The system will also include next-generation Intel Xeon processors, which are the follow on to the Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v3 product family, formerly code-named “Haswell.”

Named after the German polar explorer who discovered the continental drift, the Alfred Wegener Institute explores nearly all aspects of the earth system — from the atmosphere to the ocean floor. The Institute’s work leverages field research in extreme conditions, cutting-edge laboratory equipment, and high performance supercomputing systems to better understand the polar and marine environments, ecosystems and their interaction and influence on the earth’s climate system. AWI will use its new Cray CS400 cluster supercomputer to run advanced research applications related to climate and environmental studies, including global circulations models, regional atmospheric models, and other computing-intensive, numerical simulations.

The Alfred Wegener Institute is world renowned for innovative research aimed at solving the monumental scientific challenges associated with polar and marine research,” said Catalin Morosanu, Cray’s vice president of sales for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. “As a leader in providing supercomputing systems for prominent earth sciences centers around the world, we take great pride in building computational tools that allow our customers to achieve scientific breakthroughs. We are honored that a highly-regarded organization such as the Alfred Wegener Institute has selected a Cray supercomputer to power its important research.”

The Cray CS400 system at AWI — along with future Cray CS cluster supercomputers — will be available with the new Intel® Omni-Path Architecture, a next-generation, high-bandwidth, low-latency fabric specifically designed for high performance computing systems. Intel’s Omni-Path Architecture, an element of the Intel® Scalable System Framework, is designed for performance and efficiency for a range of challenging workloads.

Intel is proud to collaborate with Cray on this significant achievement, bringing a system using Intel Omni-Path Architecture and the Intel Scalable System Framework to AWI to support critically important climate research at unprecedented scale,” said Charles Wuischpard, vice president and general manager of HPC Platform Group at Intel. “Our companies have built a strong partnership based on introducing new technologies that provide powerful computational tools for supercomputing users. We are pleased that Cray is one of the early adopters of the Intel Omni-Path Architecture, and adding this new technology to the CS400 systems will create a compelling solution for Cray customers.”

The Cray CS400 cluster supercomputers are scalable, flexible systems built from optimized, industry-standard building block server platforms into a unified, fully-integrated system. Available with air or liquid-cooled architectures, Cray CS400 systems provide superior price/performance, energy efficiency and configuration flexibility. The Cray CS400 systems are integrated with Cray’s HPC software stack and include software tools compatible with most open source and commercial compilers, schedulers, and libraries.

Valued at more than $3 million, the Cray CS400 system for AWI is expected to be delivered in 2016.

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