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No need to worry: US blows $174m on new Cray to simulate nukes

Trinity to fire bombs, without firing the bombs

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Cray is going to help the US watch over its arsenal of nukes, having won a US$174 million contract to supply a new supercomputer to the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

The Cray XC super to be provided under the contract will be hooked up to the company's Sonexion storage.

Dubbed “Trinity”, the system is expected to have more than eight times the power of the NNSA's current super, a Cray XE6 unit called Cielo, which the TOP 500 list says has 107,152 cores and a theoretical peak performance of just over 1028 TFlops.

Cray says Trinity is a joint project between “the New Mexico Alliance for Computing at Extreme Scale (ACES) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories as part of the NNSA Advanced Simulation and Computing Program (ASC)”.

To be installed at Los Alamos, Trinity will be based on Intel Xeon Haswell processors, as well as the upcoming “Knights Landing” Xeon Phi processors. The storage system will start at 82 PB of capacity and a design throughput of 1.7 TB per second.

The machine's main job will be to conduct simulations of the US nuke stockpile, helping it to understand how its weapons are holding up as they age, while avoiding the need for underground detonations of devices. Cray says the machine will test “the stockpile’s safety, security, reliability and performance.” ®

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