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By eweek  |  Posted 2002-10-21 Print this article Print

: Cray to Use Opteron in Supercomputer"> Executives at AMD, in Sunnyvale, Calif., said the announcement underscored the chip makers continuing success in evolving from mainly a supplier of consumer PC processors to a provider of enterprise-class computing chips. "This is an important validation of the performance and stability of AMD Opteron processors," Marty Seyer, vice president of server business, said in a prepared statement Monday.
Sandia first announced the tentative selection of Cray to build its newest supercomputer in June, but withheld specifics of the deal until Monday.
Although many of todays high-performance computing systems are based on cluster technology, in which multiple servers are connected together and designed to operate as a single unit, Sandia said it preferred instead to go with a single system design by Cray. "We expect to get substantially more real work done, at a lower overall cost, on a highly balanced system like Red Storm than on a large-scale cluster," said Bill Camp, director of computers, computation, information and mathematics for Sandia, in Albuquerque, N.M. While Crays decision to use AMD in a new supercomputer is clearly an endorsement of Opterons performance capabilities, the deal will likely hold less sway with corporate computer users that traditionally are more conservative in their buying choices. "The national labs are always looking for the biggest bang for their buck, and theyre not particularly sensitive to how established the suppliers are or what other people are doing. If they think its a good technical solution to a problem, they go with it," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst with Insight 64, in Saratoga, Calif. "It is an endorsement of what AMD is doing from a technical standpoint, but commercial buyers hate to be the first guy on the block with new technology."


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