Cray launches new XT5m midrange line

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At a workshop today co-hosted by Cray and the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) in Stuttgart, Cray announced a new midrange line of supercomputers based on its flagship petascale machine

Cray logo“The new Cray XT5m product scales down Cray’s successful high-end Cray XT architecture to cover the entire supercomputer market segment that starts at $500,000, expanding Cray’s total addressable market in the process,” said Earl Joseph, IDC program vice president for HPC. “Cray now has an opportunity to benefit from both a larger addressable market and the projected growth in the complete supercomputer segment.”

…”The Cray XT5m will broaden our customer base while extending the Cray experience to new users and new market segments,” said Cray CEO and President Peter Ungaro. “Cray XT5m users can now benefit from the proven technology of our larger Cray XT5 systems, offering unrivaled performance and usability, but at lower price points. We are very excited to be launching this system in Europe with HLRS as their partnership with the automotive industry is an excellent example of being able to leverage Cray supercomputers to a new set of customers and applications.”

At a max size of up to six cabinets, the XT5m scales to just over 4,600 cores (192 quadcore AMD processors per cabinet) or about 70 TFLOPS, with up to 32 GB per node (or 16 GB per socket). The XT5m gives Cray a product in each of the market segments other than IDC’s “divisional” category, with the CX1 covering the low end and the XT* line on the high end. The new product continues Cray’s partnership with AMD at the high end, and the XT5m can be upgraded to a full XT5 if desired.

HPCwire has feature article posted at the site today with additional details

The XT5m is aimed at the lower end of IDC’s supercomputer category, which starts at $500,000 and climbs to nine figures for the most elite systems. Most of the XT5 systems are in the $5-10 million range on up, while Cray expects to sell most of its XT5m systems for $1-3 million. This gives the supercomputer maker access to market segments it hasn’t played in for awhile, namely lower-tier customers adjacent to its traditional government and higher education markets as well as commercial users in aerospace, automotive, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

Happily, the XT5m also uses Cray’s SeaStar interconnect, so this could make a nice little development machine for your Jaguar-sized production resource. Something to be careful of if you are tuning applications is that this machine has a 2D torus while its larger sibling uses the 3D version.

You can get either air- or water-cooled versions, and the mobos look to be stripped down to just the components needed for compute — no USB ports here. And apparently no Windows HPC server on this guy either, unlike its little brother.

As Michael points out, this is a tough time to be position a new multi-million dollar product for businesses, and Cray probably expects it to be slow going for a while.