This Week in HPC News

By Nicole Hemsoth

February 13, 2014

It’s been a relatively quiet week in terms of major vendor or supercomputing center announcements, outside of the one key piece of news from Cray’s $43 million deal to provide the Department of Defense (DOD) High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) with three Cray XC30 supercomputers and two Cray Sonexion storage systems.

Although we reported on the initial word last week in our update, it’s official–Cray will deliver a Cray XC30 supercomputer and a Cray Sonexion storage system to the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) located at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Cray will also deliver two Cray XC30 supercomputers and a Cray Sonexion storage system to the Navy DOD Supercomputing Resource Center (Navy DSRC) located at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi.

“Supercomputing is a critical enabler for the wide variety of science, technology, test, evaluation, and acquisition engineering communities that the DOD HPC Modernization Program supports,” observed John West, director of the DOD’s High Performance Computing (HPC) Modernization Program. “These new systems are a key component of our strategy of making sure the DOD’s scientists and engineers have access to the most modern, capable, and usable computational tools available. We are especially pleased that the successful completion of this purchase marks the realization of the potential value of our streamlined process for large system acquisition, with benefits for both the government and our commercial partners.”

Speaking of good news for Cray…

Financial Results Validate Expected HPC Growth

As expected, things are looking up for the supercomputing company, which just announced its financial results for the year and fourth quarter of 2013. For the entire year, the company’s revenue went from $421 million and change in 2012 up to $525 million. For their final quarter of 2013, revenue was just over $307 million compared to $188.8 million the year before.

cray_logo“We had a great year in 2013, led by strong growth in both supercomputing and big data,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray. “We set company records for annual and quarterly revenue as we completed the acceptance of more supercomputers during the fourth quarter than we have in any quarter in our history. Our XC30 and CS300 supercomputers are in strong competitive positions, providing customers with the most scalable, productive systems for real-world, scientific and commercial applications. In big data storage and analytics, we have a unique and growing set of offerings, including our Urika data discovery appliance and our new Tiered Adaptive Storage solution to transparently manage and access data across a storage hierarchy.  2013 was undoubtedly a great year for Cray and with continued strength in our supercomputing business and expanding big data solutions, I am excited about our potential to deliver continued growth in 2014 and beyond.”

Some highlights from Cray’s year:

In February, Cray won two new supercomputing contracts totaling more than $40 million to provide the Department of Defense High Performance Computing Modernization Program with three Cray XC30 supercomputers and two Cray Sonexion storage systems.

•   In November, Cray was awarded a $30 million contract by the University of Stuttgart to expand the XC30 supercomputer, nicknamed “Hornet” at the University’s High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS).   T

•   In November, Cray announced that the Cray Compiler Environment (CCE) is now available on the Cray CS300 line of cluster supercomputers.

•   In November, Cray announced that its CS300 and XC30 supercomputers are now available with NVIDIA Tesla K40 GPU accelerators.

•   In November, Cray launched a new big data framework that gives Cray customers the ability to more easily implement and run Apache Hadoop on the XC30 supercomputer.

•   Cray’s YarcData division signed multiple new contracts with commercial and government customers for its Urika big data discovery appliance.

•   In November, Cray was awarded an industry-leading 10 HPCwire awards from the readers and editors of HPCwire.

For 2014, while a wide range of results remains possible, the Company anticipates revenue to be in the range of $600 million for the year.

NVIDIA Complements Positive HPC Financial Trends…

NVIDIAThis week the company reported revenue for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014, ended Jan. 26, 2014, of $1.14 billion, up 8.6 percent from $1.05 billion in the previous quarter.

In addition to their consumer GPU business, Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA said, “Tesla and Quadro both achieved record annual revenue.” He also noted that their GRID cloud technology is being evaluated at hundreds of large enterprises worldwide, although did not comment on expected growth in that segment, which was unveiled at last year’s GTC.

Among NVIDIA’s highlights for the year, including big wins in our HPCwire Editor’s Choice and Reader’s Choice awards are:

The launch of the Tesla K40 accelerator for supercomputing and big data analytics.

Partnership with IBM to build supercomputers for the HPC community and accelerate enterprise data analytics applications with GPUs.

And as a sign of things to come, they demonstrated Denver, NVIDIA’s custom 64-bit ARM core inside Tegra K1.

In Other News:

Fujitsu announced Shinshu University will deploy a Fujitsu supercomputer system in its R&D facility to newly develop innovative water-filtration and water-circulation systems. The new system, set to go online in July 2014, will comprise a cluster of 16 FUJITSU Server PRIMERGY RX200 S8 x86 servers, and a single FUJITSU Supercomputer PRIMEHPC FX10.

Shinshu University plans to use the new system to move forward on R&D into revolutionary new water filtration and circulation systems that use nanocarbon and other materials, so as to ensure an adequate supply of water for people around the world.

Blue Waters Advisory Committee Named – The Science and Engineering Team Advisory Committee (SETAC) brings together a diverse group of Blue Waters users to provide guidance on the project’s growth and development through an end-user perspective.

The list includes:

  • Paul Woodward, Physics and Astrophysics, University of Minnesota
  • Tom Cheatham, Chemistry, University of Utah
  • Patrick Reed, Civil and Environmental Engineering – Systems Optimization, Cornell
  • Klaus Schulten, Physics and Molecular Dynamic, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • David Ceperley, Physics and Material Science, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Tiziana Di Matteo, Physics and Cosmology, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Dave Randall, Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Colorado State University
  • Joe Paris, Academic & Research Technologies in Information Technology, Northwestern University (Chair for 2013/2014, followed by Jorge Vinals, Structural Mechanics and Biophysics, University of Minnesota, Chair for 2014/2015)
  • So Hirata, Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Rick Authur, General Electric Global Research, Computer and Software Engineering

Moving on from NCSA…

ANSYS users can now leverage NVIDIA GPUs to speed up fluid dynamics simulation and handle large, complex simulation models. Available for the first time with ANSYS Fluent 15.0, the jointly developed GPU-accelerated commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver broadens support for NVIDIA GPUs across the ANSYS simulation portfolio, building upon the previous success with GPU support in ANSYS Mechanical.

That just about wraps up the week’s news—be sure to check our Off the Wire section for even more news that didn’t make the “Week in Review” cut here and thanks again for tuning in.

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