Cray announced its first hybrid supercomputer, a system that combines traditional CPUs with GPU acceleration units.
The XK6 system will be using AMD Opteron 6200-series processors as well as Nvidia Tesla 20-series GPUs. According to the vendor, the new supercomputer system is scalable to more than 50 petaflops of raw computing horsepower.
Included with the XK6 is the Cray Linux as well as a suite of unified programming tools libraries and compilers that allows developers to effectively access available computing resources. Taking advantage of GPUs in supercomputers has been especially difficult and even more so in hybrid scenarios. Cray promises that the XK6 can blend scalable hardware, software and their network.
The first organization to acquire the technology is the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS), which will be upgrading its existing XE6m system. Thomas Schulthess, a representative for the CSCS said that he is not looking for "another GPU-based stunt to place high on the Top 500 list", but for a "general-purpose supercomputer based on GPU technology". Cray said that is XK6 system will be available starting in the second half of this year.