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Cray to build Big Red 200 Supercomputer for Indiana University

Today Cray announced that Indiana University has selected a Cray Shasta supercomputing system to advance the use of AI across diverse research fields at the university.

Indiana University will be the first university to deploy a Shasta system, the Cray Slingshot interconnect and Cray Urika AI Suite for Shasta, providing its engineers, researchers and scientists powerful resources for the next era of computing. Named “Big Red 200,” the new supercomputer will be instrumental in the University’s exploration and advancement of AI in education, cybersecurity, medicine, environmental science and more.

The new Cray Shasta system is a necessary addition to support Indiana University’s future research endeavors in solving some of the most pressing challenges facing the people of Indiana and our world. We’ve entered an age where AI is poised to transform the future of many industries–from healthcare to cybersecurity–and we’re confident the latest technology from Cray will meet our needs for a computing infrastructure that will build on the promise of AI in Indiana,” said Brad Wheeler, VP for information technology and CIO at Indiana University. “AI brings a whole new level of insight to our researchers and with Big Red 200, we look forward to uncovering more ways we can use AI to solve societal challenges, scientific queries and further education.”

Big Red 200 Highlights:

  • System architecture: Cray Shasta
  • Peak performance: 5.9 Petaflops
  • Processor: 2nd generation AMD EPYC processors
  • AI Accelerators: NVIDIA V100 GPUs
  • Interconnect: Cray Slingshot
  • AI Software: Cray Urika AI Suite for Shasta

Big Red 200, named to celebrate the University’s bicentennial, will replace its predecessor, the “Big Red II” a Cray XK7 supercomputer. With new high-performance computing capabilities, including 2nd generation AMD EPYC processors, the new Cray Shasta supercomputer will be the platform for researchers to advance the use of AI across diverse research areas and in the University’s three Grand Challenges initiative to solve local as well as global issues: Precision Health, Prepared for Environmental Change, and Responding to the Addictions Crisis.

We’re honored to partner with Indiana University and support their critical AI research program,” said Peter Ungaro, CEO at Cray. “Big Red 200 is a shining example of how the same technology in our new Shasta supercomputer architecture that powers the world’s largest exascale systems can be put to work in the University’s datacenter to meet their research objectives. With a Cray Shasta system Indiana University is equipped with a unique solution that blends the best of supercomputing and cloud technologies to help them achieve breakthrough results in AI.”

Big Red 200 will be the first of Cray’s revolutionary new Shasta supercomputers installed at a U.S. university. Larger versions of these systems will be installed over the next few years at a number of the federal Department of Energy’s laboratories as part of the Exascale Computing Project, which aims to develop the world’s fastest supercomputers with Exascale speeds in excess of 1018 calculations per second.

The new system’s latest-generation V100 GPUs will allow my group — and many others throughout the university — to continue pushing forward the state of the art in machine learning while applying AI to important interdisciplinary applications. It will also be a fantastic teaching resource for our courses in machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics and computer vision.

IU’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research will be one of the first groups to use Big Red 200.

With the application of AI to data-intensive cybersecurity, these research frontiers require advanced systems to scale our defenses to meet the high speed of today’s cyber threats,” said Von Welch, IU executive director for cybersecurity innovation. “This advancement in IU’s cyberinfrastructure will allow us to advance the state of AI in cybersecurity in IU’s leading-edge cybersecurity services: OmniSOC and ResearchSOC.”

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