Cray Rolls Out XK6 Hybrid, Scalable to 50 Petaflops

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Today Cray announced the XK6 hybrid supercomputer. Using the company’s proprietary Gemini interconnect, the Cray XK6 combines the compute power of AMD Interlagos processors and NVIDIA Tesla 20-Series GPUs. The company claims the system can scale to more than 50 petaflops (quadrillions of operations/second) of compute power, which would be roughly 20 times faster than the current #1 system on the TOP500.

The Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS) in Manno, Switzerland is Cray’s first customer for the new Cray XK6 system. CSCS, which develops and promotes technical and scientific services for the Swiss research community in the field of HPC, signed a contract with Cray to upgrade its Cray XE6m system, nicknamed “Piz Palu,” to a multi-cabinet Cray XK6 supercomputer. CSCS is a long-standing Cray customer and supports scientists working in diverse fields such as weather forecasting, climatology, chemistry, physics, material sciences, geology, biology, genetics, experimental medicine, astronomy, mathematics and computer sciences.

Professor Dr. Thomas Schulthess, Director of CSCS said, “Given the remarkable interest in GPU technology from the Swiss computational science community, it is essential that CSCS adopt this technology into its high-end production systems soon. However, we are not looking for another GPU based stunt to place high on any Top500 lists. The Cray XK6 promises to be the first general-purpose supercomputer based on GPU technology, and we are very much looking forward to exploring its performance and productivity on real applications relevant to our scientists.”