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Cray builds Opteron super computers

Four product lines become one
Mon Nov 13 2006, 15:49
MAKER OF JOLLY large computers, Cray is to release a new AMD Opteron-based XT4 and a multi-threaded XMT supercomputers.

The XT4 will hit the shops soon while the XMT will be out sometime later next year.

It is all part of a cunning plan by Cray to merge four product lines into a single family. It is hoping that if it designs a general enough supercomputer it can be adapted to lots of different jobs.

According to, it will be fairly crucial for Cray's plan to win funding from the US government's Defense Advanced Research and Development Agency (DARPA) supercomputing challenge.

The XT4 is based on the earlier XT3 system which clusters lots of low-end systems using a high-speed network. The XT4 uses Cray's new SeaStar2, to manage the data faster.

It can also use field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) made by DRC Computing that can be reconfigured to run specified calculations even faster. A spokesCray said it was looking at other ideas for future supercomputers including the new Treadstorm chips. These have the advantage that they can plug into Opteron sockets and slash the cost by 10, a spokesCray said.



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