DoD Awards $53 Million for New Supercomputers

By Tiffany Trader

October 27, 2016

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story referenced 2014-era systems. The awards are for new systems, being installed in 2016. The story has been amended and we regret the error.

The US Army is announcing new contracts with Cray and SGI to provide “high performance computing systems, administration, and maintenance” to the Department of Defense (DoD) High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP).

On Wednesday, the DoD reported that Cray and SGI will each receive $26.5 million for the work, which is expected to run through April 24, 2021.

Under the terms of the new contract, Cray is supplying a new XC40 supercomputer for the DoD Supercomputing Resource Center (DSRC) at the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Per its contract, SGI is furnishing two new systems for the Army Research Lab’s DSRC in Aberdeen, Maryland.

Knights Landing Arrives at DoD

The High Performance Computing Modernization Program recently received its first Intel Knights Landing cluster, an SGI system that has been installed at the Army Research Laboratory. In addition to an unspecified number of Knights Landing nodes, the cluster includes both the Intel Omni-Path architecture as well as Mellanox EDR InfiniBand interconnects. The system is currently available for porting and benchmarking applications, but production computations are not currently supported due to frequent configuration changes, according to the HPCMP.

The High Performance Computing Modernization Program was established in 1992 with a mandate to modernize the DoD’s high-performance computing program. The HPCMP funds and oversees the operation of five DoD Supercomputing Resource Centers (DSRCs). These are located at the Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Miss., the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Md., the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command in Stennis Space Center, Miss., and the Air Force Research Laboratory in Maui, Hawaii, and Dayton, Ohio. Combined the five DSRCs house more than 26 petaflops of aggregate computing power spanning some 900,000 cores.

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