SAN JOSE, Calif. Cray Inc. has announced three European partners for a new program aimed at delivering by the end of the decade a supercomputer capable of performing an exaflop, a quintillion calculations per second. Cray's Exascale Research Initiative will initially involve collaborations in Scotland and Switzerland.
Initially, Cray will assemble one team of researchers at the University of Edinburgh's new Exascale Technology Centre supercomputing center and another team at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre. The centers will work with Cray's European software partners such as Allinea Software Ltd.
"We know there are scientific breakthroughs in important areas such as new energy sources and global climate change that are waiting for exascale performance, and we are working hard on building next-generation supercomputers that will be capable of it," said Peter Ungaro, chief executive of Cray, speaking at a company event in Frankfurt where the initiative was announced.
Cray is making an undisclosed investment with the University of Edinburgh on its new center to be formally launched Thursday (Dec. 3). The Swiss partnership is under the banner of the so-called HP2C program that is exploring future large scale simulation applications.
Cray was the second computer maker to break the petaflops performance barrier using processors from Advanced Micro Devices. IBM's Roadrunner system was the first to hit that milestone in May 2008 also using AMD chips.
Cray's deal comes less than a month after Intel Corp. announced it will set up an exascale research center with European partners. Last year, HP Labs gave Georgia Institute of technology a grant to develop virtualization software for exascale-class computers.