IISc Bangalore installs new Cray XC40 supercomputer


The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, India has installed a new Cray XC40 supercomputer in this month. May (2015).

The first petaflop system in India nick-named SahasraT offers more than 1.4 petaflops of compute performance at the Supercomputing Education and Research Center (SERC) located at the IISc, a research institution for advanced scientific and technological research and education in India.

“SERC is now home to India’s first petaflop supercomputing system, which will power the Center’s important computational science initiatives,” said Nick Gorga, Cray’s vice president of sales, Asia Pacific.

Located at the IISc, a premier research institution for advanced scientific and technological research and education in India, SERC is the country’s leading computing center with state-of-the art facilities that cater to the ever-increasing demands of high performance computing for scientific and engineering research in India. The Center leads several national initiatives on HPC, and is actively involved in research projects and consultancy in collaboration with government agencies and private companies. The Cray XC40 supercomputer at SERC serves as the primary system for cutting-edge research in science and engineering at the IISc. SahasraT cost around $13 million (` 82.70 crore).craypic

The Cray XC40 is a massively parallel multiprocessor supercomputer manufactured by Cray. It consists of Intel Haswell Xeon processors, with optional NVIDIA Tesla or Intel Xeon Phi accelerators, connected together by Cray’s proprietary “Aries” interconnect, stored in air-cooled or liquid-cooled cabinets.

The company (CRAY), which was founded in 1972, has taken the wraps off the XC40, a new machine based on Intel’s Xeon E5-2600 v3 server chips. An earlier version of this chip line appears in the Chinese Tiahe-2 that presently is ranked as the world’s fastest computer at 33.863 petaflops, according to the Top 500 ranking of supercomputers.

It is unknown at this stage whether the XC40 will exceed this, but with the company already holding second place with the 27.113 petaflops Cray Titan housed at the Oakridge National Laboratory in the US, it seems likely that this will be a beast of a machine.

Datawarp, a new feature in the XC40, cuts the distance between processors and the SSDs used for caching, therefore shaving valuable nanoseconds of latency. It is connected by PCI Express 3.0 interfaces, which outperform SATA, and the machine uses DDR4 RAM, which significantly outperforms the previous DDR3 standard.

The system can house up to 384 Intel processors in a single cabinet, with up to 256GB of RAM per node and bandwidth of 137GBps.


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