Cray to Part­ner with Oak Ridge Natio­nal Labo­ra­to­ry to Deve­lop new Tech­no­lo­gies for the Exas­ca­le Era

SEATTLE, May 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cray Inc. and the U.S. Depart­ment of Ener­gy (DOE) today announ­ced they are pushing for­ward the tech­no­lo­gy bounda­ries of com­pu­ta­tio­nal sci­ence with the deve­lo­p­ment of the “Fron­tier” exas­ca­le super­com­pu­ter for Oak Ridge Natio­nal Labo­ra­to­ry (ORNL), expec­ted to be deli­ve­r­ed in 2021. The sys­tem will be based on Cray’s new Shas­ta™ archi­tec­tu­re and Cray Slings­hot™  inter­con­nect and will fea­ture future genera­ti­on AMD EPYC CPU and Rade­on Instinct GPU tech­no­lo­gy. This is the third major con­tract award for the Shas­ta archi­tec­tu­re and Slings­hot inter­con­nect; pre­vious awards were for the Natio­nal Ener­gy Rese­arch Sci­en­ti­fic Com­pu­ting Center’s NERSC‑9 pre-exas­ca­le sys­tem, and the Argon­ne Natio­nal Laboratory’s Auro­ra exas­ca­le sys­tem.

The Fron­tier sys­tem archi­tec­tu­re embo­dies the com­pu­te and data inten­si­ve capa­bi­li­ties requi­red to unlock the full poten­ti­al of the exas­ca­le era,” said Jeff Nichols, Asso­cia­te Lab Direc­tor at ORNL. “The power and fle­xi­bi­li­ty of the sys­tem will enab­le the crea­ti­on of new con­ver­ged HPC, ana­ly­tics, and AI app­li­ca­ti­ons across the full bre­adth of the exas­ca­le com­pu­ting program’s mis­si­on.”

Shas­ta super­com­pu­ters are set to be the tech­no­lo­gy under­pin­ning the exas­ca­le era, which is cha­rac­te­ri­zed by a delu­ge of new data and a con­ver­gence of mode­ling, simu­la­ti­on, ana­ly­tics, and AI workloads. To enab­le this fusi­on of workloads to run simul­ta­ne­ous­ly across the sys­tem, Slings­hot was desi­gned to incor­po­ra­te intel­li­gent fea­tures like adap­ti­ve rou­ting, qua­li­ty-of-ser­vice, and con­ges­ti­on manage­ment. Fron­tier will uti­li­ze Cray’s new Shas­ta sys­tem soft­ware for moni­to­ring, orches­tra­ti­on, and app­li­ca­ti­on deve­lo­p­ment to pro­vi­de a sin­gle deve­lo­per inter­face across the sys­tem. The new soft­ware stack is a ful­ly con­tai­ne­ri­zed archi­tec­tu­re that com­bi­nes the sca­la­bi­li­ty and per­for­mance of HPC while enab­ling the pro­duc­ti­vi­ty and por­ta­bi­li­ty of cloud.

Exas­ca­le sys­tems demand a com­plex balan­ce of com­pu­te, inter­con­nect, and soft­ware capa­bi­li­ties to enab­le HPC and AI app­li­ca­ti­ons to exe­cu­te simul­ta­ne­ous­ly and with opti­mal per­for­mance,” said Ste­ve Scott, CTO at Cray. “This poses a num­ber of archi­tec­tu­ral chal­len­ges across the ent­i­re HPC space ran­ging from the deve­lo­p­ment of new high den­si­ty com­pu­te infra­st­ruc­tu­re, to moder­ni­zing deve­lo­per soft­ware for the crea­ti­on of extre­me sca­le, data-inten­si­ve app­li­ca­ti­ons. Deli­vering the­se tech­no­lo­gies for Fron­tier is incredi­b­ly exci­ting, as they will also beco­me stan­dard pro­duct offe­rings from Cray, enab­ling us to deli­ver enhan­ced per­for­mance and pro­duc­ti­vi­ty to busi­nes­ses lar­ge and small.”

Inno­va­ti­on for Fron­tier
In addi­ti­on to the capa­bi­li­ties nati­ve to the Shas­ta sys­tem, Cray has also been awar­ded a sepa­ra­te joint deve­lo­p­ment con­tract to pur­sue new foun­da­tio­nal tech­no­lo­gies for the Fron­tier sys­tem. This inclu­des the deve­lo­p­ment of new high-den­si­ty com­pu­te infra­st­ruc­tu­re, enhan­ce­ments to HPC deve­lo­per tools for GPU sca­ling and AI, and the crea­ti­on of a Cen­ter of Excel­lence to estab­lish best prac­ti­ces for exas­ca­le app­li­ca­ti­on deve­lo­p­ment and tuning.

Com­pu­te Bla­de and Cabi­net Infra­st­ruc­tu­re

Cur­rent approa­ches to deli­vering den­se GPU com­pu­te form fac­tors have hit limi­ta­ti­ons in pack­a­ging den­si­ty due the amount of power that can be deli­ve­r­ed to a bla­de, resul­ting in more dat­a­cen­ter floo­r­space being requi­red to deli­ver com­pa­ra­ble per­for­mance. To reach sus­tai­ned exa­flop per­for­mance, the Fron­tier sys­tem will trans­cend tho­se limi­ta­ti­ons with power­ful and den­se com­pu­te and cabi­net infra­st­ruc­tu­re capa­bi­li­ties. For Fron­tier, Cray is designing a new AMD EPYC CPU and Rade­on Instinct GPU powe­red bla­de for the Shas­ta high-den­si­ty cabi­net. Cray will also engi­neer new high-effi­ci­en­cy power deli­very and inte­gra­ted direct liquid coo­ling capa­bi­li­ties for key ser­ver com­pon­ents to ensu­re high ope­ra­tio­nal ener­gy effi­ci­en­cy and low total cost of owners­hip.

The Fron­tier design is a mar­vel of engi­nee­ring and AMD is proud to be brin­ging its tech­ni­cal inno­va­ti­on to the pro­ject in con­junc­tion with Cray, Oak Ridge Natio­nal Lab and the Depart­ment of Ener­gy,” said Mark Paper­mas­ter, exe­cu­ti­ve vice pre­si­dent and chief tech­no­lo­gy offi­cer, AMD. “AMD has a long histo­ry of pushing the bounda­ries of com­pu­te per­for­mance and working with DOE on advan­ced exas­ca­le rese­arch. I’m very exci­ted to see a com­bi­na­ti­on of cus­tom AMD EPYC CPUs, pur­po­se built Rade­on Instinct GPUs, and our open soft­ware deve­lo­p­ment tool set selec­ted to power this ama­zing machi­ne.”

Soft­ware Inno­va­ti­on and Col­la­bo­ra­ti­on

To enab­le deve­lo­per pro­duc­ti­vi­ty, users will requi­re a  high-level soft­ware deve­lo­p­ment envi­ron­ment with tight­ly-cou­pled com­pi­lers, tools, and libra­ries which abs­tract away sys­tem com­ple­xi­ty. The Cray Pro­gramming Envi­ron­ment (Cray PE) has deli­ve­r­ed the­se core capa­bi­li­ties for Cray users for deca­des and, as part of this pro­gram, will see a num­ber of enhan­ce­ments for incre­a­sed func­tio­n­a­li­ty and sca­le.

This will start with Cray working with AMD to enhan­ce the­se tools for opti­mi­zed GPU sca­ling with exten­si­ons for Rade­on Open Com­pu­te Plat­form (ROCm). The­se soft­ware enhan­ce­ments will leverage low-level inte­gra­ti­ons of AMD ROCmRD­MA tech­no­lo­gy with Cray Slings­hot to enab­le direct com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on bet­ween the Slings­hot NIC to read and wri­te data direct­ly to GPU memo­ry for hig­her app­li­ca­ti­on per­for­mance. Final­ly, to pro­vi­de a seam­less deve­lo­per work­flow, Cray PE will be inte­gra­ted with a full machi­ne lear­ning soft­ware stack with sup­port for the most popu­lar tools and frame­works. Taken tog­e­ther, the rich HPC deve­lo­p­ment capa­bi­li­ties of Cray PE, in com­bi­na­ti­on with an opti­mi­zed and scala­b­le data sci­ence suite, will enab­le deve­lo­pers to ful­ly embrace the con­ver­ged use of ana­ly­tics, AI, and HPC at extre­me sca­le for the first time.

App­li­ca­ti­on Deve­lo­p­ment and Tuning

To fur­ther acce­le­ra­te user adop­ti­on of the sys­tem, a Cen­ter of Excel­lence will be estab­lis­hed by Cray and Oak Ridge Natio­nal Lab to dri­ve col­la­bo­ra­ti­on and inno­va­ti­on, and to assist in the por­ting and tuning of key DOE app­li­ca­ti­ons and libra­ries for the Fron­tier sys­tem. This will inclu­de col­la­bo­ra­ti­ve moder­niz­a­ti­on of new and lega­cy code to sup­port direc­ti­ve-based pro­gramming models such as OpenMP, and deli­vering trai­ning and work­shops for hands-on lear­ning of how to ful­ly leverage the sys­tem. This col­la­bo­ra­ti­on will ensu­re that best prac­ti­ces are defi­ned and dis­se­mi­na­ted quick­ly to fur­ther acce­le­ra­te deve­lo­p­ment of exas­ca­le-class app­li­ca­ti­ons.   

This is ano­t­her major win for Cray and means that in 2021 America’s top two super­com­pu­ters and most power­ful ent­ries in the glo­bal exas­ca­le race will use the Cray ‘Shas­ta’ archi­tec­tu­re,” said Ste­ve Con­way, Hype­ri­on Rese­arch seni­or vice pre­si­dent of rese­arch. “This archi­tec­tu­re is desi­gned to sup­port the extre­me hete­ro­gen­ei­ty nee­ded for future HPC and AI workloads.”

Cray Shas­ta sys­tems fuse the per­for­mance and sca­le of super­com­pu­ting with the pro­duc­ti­vi­ty of cloud com­pu­ting and full dat­a­cen­ter inter­ope­ra­bi­li­ty. By pro­vi­ding a fle­xi­ble com­pu­te infra­st­ruc­tu­re, a modu­lar and con­tai­ne­ri­zed soft­ware archi­tec­tu­re, and an intel­li­gent and ether­net-capa­ble sys­tem inter­con­nect, Shas­ta super­com­pu­ters seam­less­ly bridge the worlds of extre­me sca­le advan­ced rese­arch and enter­pri­se dat­a­cen­ters for the first time.

The con­tract award inclu­des tech­no­lo­gy deve­lo­p­ment fun­ding, a cen­ter of excel­lence, several ear­ly-deli­very sys­tems, the main Fron­tier sys­tem, and mul­ti-year sys­tem sup­port.  The Fron­tier­sys­tem is expec­ted to be deli­ve­r­ed in 2021 and accep­t­ance is anti­ci­pa­ted in 2022. 

For more infor­ma­ti­on about the work being done by Cray with the  DOE’s ORNL visit their web­site HERE.

About Cray Inc.

Cray Inc. (Nasdaq:CRAY) com­bi­nes com­pu­ta­ti­on and crea­ti­vi­ty so visio­na­ries can keep asking ques­ti­ons that chal­len­ge the limits of pos­si­bi­li­ty. Drawing on more than 45 years of expe­ri­ence, Cray deve­lo­ps the world’s most advan­ced super­com­pu­ters, pushing the bounda­ries of per­for­mance, effi­ci­en­cy and sca­la­bi­li­ty. Cray con­ti­nues to inno­va­te today at the con­ver­gence of data and dis­co­very, offe­ring a com­pre­hen­si­ve port­fo­lio of super­com­pu­ters, high-per­for­mance sto­rage, data ana­ly­tics and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence solu­ti­ons.  Go to for more infor­ma­ti­on.

Safe Har­bor State­ment
This press release con­tains for­ward-loo­king state­ments wit­hin the mea­ning of Sec­tion 21E of the Secu­ri­ties Exchan­ge Act of 1934 and Sec­tion 27A of the Secu­ri­ties Act of 1933, inclu­ding, but not limi­ted to, state­ments rela­ted to Cray’s pro­duct deve­lo­p­ment, sales, and deli­very plans. The­se state­ments invol­ve cur­rent expec­ta­ti­ons, fore­casts of future events, and other state­ments that are not his­to­ri­cal facts. Inac­cu­ra­te assump­ti­ons and esti­ma­tes as well as known and unknown risks and uncer­tain­ties can affect the accu­ra­cy of for­ward-loo­king state­ments and cau­se actu­al results to dif­fer mate­ri­al­ly from tho­se anti­ci­pa­ted by the­se for­ward-loo­king state­ments. Fac­tors that could affect actu­al future events or results inclu­de, but are not limi­ted to, the risk that Cray is not able to suc­cess­ful­ly com­ple­te its plan­ned pro­duct deve­lo­p­ment efforts or to ship Shas­ta sys­tems wit­hin the plan­ned time­frame or at all, the risk that Shas­ta sys­tems will not have the fea­tures, per­for­mance or com­pon­ents cur­r­ent­ly plan­ned, the risk that pro­ces­sors plan­ned for Cray Shas­ta sys­tems or cur­rent Cray sys­tems are not avail­ab­le when expec­ted or with the per­for­mance or pri­cing expec­ted, the risk that the sys­tems orde­red by cus­to­mers are not deli­ve­r­ed when expec­ted, do not per­form as expec­ted once deli­ve­r­ed, or have tech­ni­cal issu­es that must be cor­rec­ted befo­re accep­t­ance, the risk that the accep­t­ance pro­cess for deli­ve­r­ed sys­tems is not com­ple­ted, or cus­to­mer accep­t­an­ces are not recei­ved, when expec­ted or at all, the risk that Cray is not able to suc­cess­ful­ly com­ple­te the modi­fi­ca­ti­ons to its sub­con­tract with Intel for deli­very of the sys­tem to Argon­ne when expec­ted or at all, the risk that government fun­ding to Cray for rese­arch and deve­lo­p­ment pro­jects is less than expec­ted and such other risks as iden­ti­fied in Cray’s Quar­ter­ly Report on Form 10‑Q for the three mon­ths ended March 31, 2019, in the Cur­rent Report on Form 8‑K describ­ing the Oak Ridge Natio­nal Labo­ra­to­ry award filed today and from time to time in other reports filed by Cray with the SEC. You should not rely undu­ly on the­se for­ward-loo­king state­ments, which app­ly only as of the date of this release. Cray under­ta­kes no duty to publicly announ­ce or report revi­si­ons to the­se state­ments as new infor­ma­ti­on beco­mes avail­ab­le that may chan­ge Cray’s expec­ta­ti­ons.

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Cray Media Con­ta­ct:
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Cray, Inc.
(206) 701‑2152

Cray Inves­tor Con­ta­ct:
Paul Hiem­stra
(206) 701‑2044