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Cray to support Intel's Xeon Phi in Cascade clusters

ISC 12 Says more accelerator announcements are coming
Mon Jun 18 2012, 13:30
Cray XK6 supercomputer

SUPERCOMPUTER VENDOR Cray has announced that its Cascade supercomputer will support Intel's Xeon Phi accelerator boards.

Standing by its new best friend Intel, Cray said its Cascade supercomputer will support Intel Xeon Phi accelerators. The firm said it expects Intel's Xeon and Xeon Phi products to become popular parts in future Cascade clusters.

Cray CEO and president Peter Ungaro said, "We are joining Intel to announce our next generation supercomputer, which is currently codenamed Cascade, is not only going to support Intel Xeon processor but it will support the Intel Xeon Phi processors. This is the next big step in our adaptive supercomputing mission."

Cray's support for Intel's Xeon Phi accelerators is not surprising, given that the two firms have been cosying up to each other recently. However when The INQUIRER asked whether Cray will continue supporting other accelerators such as FPGAs or GPGPUs, Ungaro said Intel's Xeon Phi won't be its only offering for Cascade.

Ungaro said, "We offer a broad number of CPUs within our systems from x86 CPUS to GPUS to FPGAs and with our next generation Cascade system we are extending that further and including both Intel Xeon and Intel Xeon Phi so we can best match those applications to the processors. [...] Ultimately we expect these are going to be leading processors within our overall Cascade system, but our vision is very broad to make sure we are mapping the right application to the right processor."

While Ungaro said he expects Xeon Phi will be popular with Cray's customers, the firm will be announcing other accelerators for Cascade. "You can expect over time we will announce other processors within the Cascade system over its lifetime," said Ungaro.

Even though Ungaro said Cray is taking orders for Cascade clusters, there was no word on whether those clusters feature Intel's Xeon Phi accelerators. Nevertheless, for Intel, having the biggest name in high performance computing back its HPC accelerator push is a good thing, even if it did cost Intel $140m. µ


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