Cray announces partnership for embedded diagnostics in supercomputers

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This week ASSET InterTech announced a new partnership with Cray that will put ASSET’s technology into Cray’s supercomputers

Cray logo…Cray Inc. has selected ASSET InterTech’s ScanWorks platform for embedded instrumentation as the basis for embedded test solutions critical to Cray’s next-generation supercomputers. ASSET ( is the leading supplier of open tools for embedded instrumentation for design validation, test and debug. Cray will collaborate with ASSET and ASSET will deliver embedded test logic intellectual property (IP) that will support high-reliability and remote diagnostics in Cray’s supercomputers.

…ScanWorks embedded IP provides fault isolation in high-availability, mission-critical systems in the computer, telecom, military and aerospace, and storage markets. Its capabilities include single and multi-processor bring-up, remote test, kernel dump, hung system debug, and breakpoints. This functionality can be critical for installation and commissioning, local and remote testing and programming, and reducing “No Trouble Found” (NTF) reports from the field.

I like this for two reasons. Its time for supercomputing vendors to take reliability seriously, and a real discipline around automated diagnosis and management will help. Vendors with a footprint on the enterprise have had an advantage over Cray (and, to some extent, SGI), and Cray has lagged in this department. The second thing I like about this is that Cray isn’t diverting its own resources to do it — it is buying the technology and focusing on integrating. This is smart execution, focused on core capability.


  1. Mainframes have had small “console” processors to load microcode and run diagnostics for a long time. My first Unix was in ’84 on the Console Processor of an Amdahl 580. Only thing new I see here is outsourcing that subsystem.