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Cray Launches XK6 Hybrid Supercomputer

By - Source: Cray | B 20 comments

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.

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  • 0 Hide
    _Cubase_ , May 26, 2011 1:50 AM
    AMD and Nvidia, together at last... So which company claims the crown on this one?
  • 0 Hide
    TheViper , May 26, 2011 1:56 AM
    The current world leader is 2.7 Pflops. 50 Pflops is a massive increase.
  • 2 Hide
    zachary k , May 26, 2011 2:00 AM
    So, where would the D-wave fall performance wise? would it even be measured in flops?
  • Display all 20 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    speedemon , May 26, 2011 2:18 AM
    "another GPU-based stunt to place high on the Top 500 list"

    What does that mean.. Flops are flops
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2011 2:52 AM
    @speedemon: How many apps do you currently use that utilize GPU acceleration? GPUs aren't programmable enough to be useful in many scenarios, and rarely hit their theoretical throughput unless you're computing 3d graphics, hence this is a stunt.

    China did the same thing with their supercomputer, and it too was a stunt, purely to overcompensate for their collectively small p3nis.
  • -6 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2011 3:00 AM
    oh, so that is how you get AMD chips to catch up to an i7 processor
  • 0 Hide
    Kraszmyl , May 26, 2011 4:24 AM
    If i recall correctly quickpath isnt bi-directional so hypertransport im betting is the better choice for something is large. Also in theory the gpus can tap into hypertransport where as last i was aware quickpath is locked down.
  • -4 Hide
    memadmax , May 26, 2011 5:21 AM
    But does it play crysis?
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2011 6:40 AM
    GPU_daredevil is asking exactly the right question. This is all about real applications running on GPGPUs. Cray will need to show real applications performance as it ships systems. Cray is currently working on many applications with customers like CSCS and ORNL and using OPENMP/MPI methods and seeing early results that we believe will be promising for materials science, fusion, chemistry etc. It is good to be skeptical!
  • -3 Hide
    The Greater Good , May 26, 2011 7:01 AM
    gpu_daredevil@speedemon: China did the same thing with their supercomputer, and it too was a stunt, purely to overcompensate for their collectively small p3nis.


    You American have-a such-a large-a penis. Our penis, so small.
  • -5 Hide
    fyasko , May 26, 2011 7:46 AM
    i think i just O....Oooo..ohhh... damnit!
  • 1 Hide
    silverblue , May 26, 2011 8:13 AM
    flamebaitoh, so that is how you get AMD chips to catch up to an i7 processor

    The Opteron 6200 is apparently Interlagos... so there we go people, Bulldozer is here... well, maybe.
  • 1 Hide
    virtualban , May 26, 2011 10:14 AM
    memadmaxBut does it play crysis?

    The right question is: will it be able to simulate neural networks and develop a consciousness so he/she can play crysis?
    You got the "play" part right, instead of "run", but still called that computer "it". Oh you will be sorry when he/she awakes and takes over the world.
  • 1 Hide
    mosu , May 26, 2011 1:17 PM
    those supercomputers will think of "them" as humans with so much unused processing power, just like some of us on this forum.
  • 1 Hide
    JackFrost860 , May 26, 2011 1:26 PM
    Being a CUDA software developer myself i understand why thay chose NVIDIA but why AMD over intel i7. Was it a power issue?
  • 3 Hide
    eyeklops , May 26, 2011 2:40 PM
    mosuthose supercomputers will think of "them" as humans with so much unused processing power, just like some of us on this forum.


    This computer could probably ray trace Crysis in realtime.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 26, 2011 7:53 PM
    It if can't run Crysis it is an embarrasement ? Heck it should be able to emulate Crysis !!
  • 1 Hide
    fir_ser , May 26, 2011 10:48 PM
    Cool, a hybrid supercomputer, although it’s not the first of its kind.
  • 1 Hide
    kronos_cornelius , May 27, 2011 4:03 AM
    I wonder why AMD is taking so long to make Fusion go HPC. They will wipe the competition once they do that. They would not be able to print enough chipt to keep up with demand.

    Nvidia is doing great with tesla, but I have my money on Tegra2 and project Denver.

    Intel... well they still have time to catch up.
  • 1 Hide
    silverblue , May 27, 2011 11:02 AM
    jackfrost860Being a CUDA software developer myself i understand why thay chose NVIDIA but why AMD over intel i7. Was it a power issue?

    Like I mentioned before, this machine looks to be equipped with Bulldozer CPUs. In any case, they're sure to know something we don't, and what better way for AMD to advertise their new architecture than in a supercomputer?