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Sweden orders TWO PETAFLOP supercomputer

Royal Institute of Technology tires of mere 93 teraflop machine

Sweden's KTH (Royal Institute of Technology) is continuing its Cray fandom, placing a US$13 million order for an XC super and taking the institute into the petascale era.

Cray first got its foot in the door at KTH in 2010, with a 93 teraflop-rated XT6m midrange system.

The XT6m was replaced with a 305 TF XE6, which went in production Jan 2011.

This XE6 is now being replaced by the new XC-30.

The XC unit now on order and due for delivery before year's end will be put to work on familiar HPC workloads: fluid dynamics, climate modelling, plasma physics, neuroscience, materials science and molecular modelling.

The 2 petaflop super will have 1,676 nodes and 104.7 TB of memory, and will be six times faster than the university's current top performer, a Cray XE6 called Lindgren that rated 31st in the TOP500 in 2011.

The US$13 million budget for the new box comprises hardware, storage, support and running costs over four years, and it's expected to be in full service by January 2015. As well as users at KTH, the XC will become part of Sweden's National Infrastructure for Computing, and will be integrated into the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe project as a Tier-1 resource.

The XC series runs Intel Xeon processors, up to 384 per cabinet, supports up to 128 GB of memory with 117 GB/s bandwidth per node, with Infiniband, 10 Gbps Ethernet, and FCoE I/O. It's to be named after Swedish children's author Elsa Beskow. ®

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