9 May 2011 Edinburgh - Cray Inc. will upgrade and expand the Cray XE6 supercomputer located at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Cray has signed a contract with the University of Edinburgh (UoE) HPCX Ltd. and the upgrade and expansion will provide high performance computing (HPC) services for users of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, which is the managing agent for the High-End Computing Terascale Resource (HECToR) project.
HECToR is the UK's national supercomputing service, and its users will soon be able to apply the resources of an 827-teraflops supercomputing system towards studying complex problems with global impacts. Cray will add 10 cabinets to the existing 20-cabinet Cray XE6 system and will also upgrade all of the supercomputer's processors to the new AMD Opteron 6200 Series processor (code-named "Interlagos"). The expansion and upgrade is expected to be completed later this year.
"We are very pleased that UoE HPCX Ltd. has made the decision to upgrade its Cray XE6 supercomputer, which will provide HECToR users with the ability to address more complex scientific challenges that are not feasible with a standard commodity cluster", stated Dr. Ulla Thiel, Cray vice president, Europe. "Upgrading the HECToR system will also provide important continuity, allowing researchers to maintain their focus on pushing the frontiers of science. HECToR is at the forefront of HPC in Europe and we are honored to be supporting its efforts."
The HECToR project is one of the largest and most ambitious HPC initiatives in Europe, serving a broad community of academic and industry users across the UK and Europe. The project provisions high-end computing resources for use in a wide range of disciplines. The University of Edinburgh has a long association with Cray and has been home to various Cray supercomputing systems such as the Cray T3D, Cray T3E, Cray X2 and Cray XT4 supercomputers. The University is also working closely with Cray on its Exascale Research Initiative in Europe, which was announced in December 2009.
"The contracted upgrade of HECToR will provide UK scientists with the world's most advanced HPC technologies, which supports our efforts in establishing world-class facilities for research and innovation in the UK", stated Professor Arthur Trew, Director of UoE HPCX Ltd. "The HECToR project continues to assemble the computational resources necessary for breakthrough research in a broad range of disciplines. Cray plays an important role in our initiatives and is ensuring our researchers have the supercomputing resources they need."
The Cray XE6 supercomputer combines Cray's current Gemini system interconnect with powerful AMD Opteron processors and is designed to bring production petascale computing to a new and expanded base of HPC users. Fully upgradeable from the Cray XT5 and Cray XT6 line of supercomputers, the Cray XE6 system delivers improved interconnect performance and features additional enhancements such as improved network resiliency, a mature and scalable software environment and the ability to run a broad array of ISV applications with the latest version of the Cray Linux Environment. This collection of industry-leading features provides Cray XE6 users with a supercomputing system that combines true scalable performance with production reliability.