Cray is set to announce that runs Linux and is powered by Advanced Micro Devices Opteron processors. Pricing will start at less than $100,000—quite an adjustment for a company whose only previous product, the X1, sold for $1 million to $100 million to the high end of the supercomputer market.
Cray moved in this direction in February when it purchased OctigaBay, which was building a platform designed to reduce I/O bottlenecks in high-performance environments. The self-monitoring, self-healing XD1 uses this direct-connect architecture, where processors are directly connected to one another and memory. This architecture offers 30 times greater bandwidth and lower latency than clustered systems, officials said.
The Cray device will be chasing a new leader in the contest to be the fastest supercomputer. Last week, IBM announced that one of its Blue Gene supercomputers had reached a sustained peak of 36.01 trillion calculations per second—or 36.01 teraflops—besting the previous record of 35.86 teraflops.