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 WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Cray Research, Inc. (NYSE: CYR) today introduced the CRAY T3D, the company's first massively parallel processing (MPP) system and the first MPP system built with "true supercomputer technology."
 Calling the system "a next-generation MPP product," Cray officials said a 128-processor CRAY T3D system outperformed all current MPP systems on the NAS Parallel Benchmarks, a widely accepted set of tests from the NASA Ames Research Center. On a key performance indicator called latency--the time it takes for a processor to begin using requested data--the CRAY T3D system is typically 100 times faster than current MPP products, they said.
 "Cray Research is now the MPP technology leader," said Cray Research chairman and CEO John F. Carlson. "A year from today, we expect to be the leading MPP vendor." He said he expects the CRAY T3D to be substantially more useful than current MPP products for industrial and commercial customers, as well as research facilities, and to set the standard for future MPP systems. "The CRAY T3D is also an important milestone for tackling grand challenge' problems under the government's High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) program."
 Carlson reported nine initial orders and named three of the customers. The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center's (PSC) installed 32-processor prototype system will become a 512-processor system in early 1994; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/Caltech (JPL/Caltech) is scheduled to receive a 256-processor system in fourth-quarter 1993; and the Arctic Region Supercomputing Center, a national facility located at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has ordered a 128-processor system for installation in first-quarter 1994.
 Some of the other initial nine orders will be announced in coming weeks. "The initial customers include a major petroleum company and a well-known
Japanese industrial firm," he said. In addition to these nine, an agreement is expected to be finalized soon for the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland (EPFL) to acquire a 256-processor system. Carlson said the company is in discussions with more than a dozen other prospects for CRAY T3D systems.
 As part of the company's Parallel Applications Technology Program (PATP), the PSC and JPL/Caltech agreements and the EPFL preliminary agreement call for these systems to be available not only for those organizations' users, but for collaborations with Cray Research to develop targeted software applications for the CRAY T3D system.
 Carlson also announced that Cray Research and the CRAY T3D system have been selected to participate in the Evaluation of Early Computing Systems Prototypes portion of the ARPA High Performance Computing (HPC) Program. This portion of the program was established to provide rapid feedback to system architects and software designers, as well as to speed the maturation of software and experimental Grand Challenge applications on advanced system prototypes. "The CRAY T3D was jointly supported by the Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA) and Cray Research," Carlson said. "This relationship helped make it possible to develop the CRAY T3D in only 26 months and deliver the system on schedule. This relationship will remain important for Cray Research in the future."
 "The CRAY T3D system combines Cray Research supercomputer hardware and software, powerful Alpha RISC microprocessors from Digital Equipment and sophisticated Motorola logic chips," said Steve Nelson, Cray Research vice president of technology and head of the CRAY T3D development program. He said the system closely couples Cray's proven parallel vector technology with MPP capabilities to tackle a wider range of problems than current MPP products, and efficiently increases problem-solving performance with increased system size -- "the true test of a scalable system."
 The CRAY T3D is offered in a wide variety of sizes, from a 32-processor version (4.8 peak gigaflops -- 4.8 billion floating point operations per second) priced from $2.2 million in the U.S., on up in powers of two (64, 128, 256, 512 processors) to a 1024-processor version (153.6 peak gigaflops) with U.S. pricing from $31.0 million. A top-of-the-line 2048-processor version (307.2 peak gigaflops) is also being offered.
 For customers who want to add MPP capabilities onto existing Cray Research parallel vector systems (CRAY Y-MP Model E series, C90 series or M90 series), a full range of system sizes is available (32 to 2048 processors). Sizes up to 128 processors are available in air- or liquid-cooled versions; larger sizes are liquid-cooled. Memory options range from 0.5 gigabytes to 128 gigabytes, depending on system size.
 For customers wanting parallel vector and MPP capabilities in one cabinet, liquid-cooled models are available with 128 or 256 processors, two to 16 gigabytes of memory, and one to four parallel vector central processing units (CPUs). U.S. pricing for the 128-processor single- cabinet model starts at $7 million. "Customers do not need to order two separate systems," Nelson stressed. "They can acquire a single system with as little as one parallel vector processor and many microprocessors. With this many configurations, customers can mix-and- match the proportions of parallel vector and MPP capabilities to meet their own processing needs," he said.
 Nelson said he expects the CRAY T3D to run the NAS Parallel Benchmarks even faster in the future. "Other vendors have had time to fine-tune their systems for these benchmarks." The CRAY T3D's speed advantage over competing systems is expected to increase substantially in larger system sizes. "With the T3D, you won't see the performance- degrading traffic jams' that have plagued other MPP systems. The larger the system size compared, the better we will look," he said.
 "We also did price-performance comparisons based on the NAS Parallel Benchmarks results," Nelson said. "We used three separate methods. For each method, the CRAY T3D showed price-performance better than or equal to any of the other MPP products."
 Nelson said the CRAY T3D system was developed in consultation with an MPP Advisory Group, an international group of government, university and commercial customers with first-hand MPP experience using other products. "As a result, the CRAY T3D alleviates performance deficiencies found in other MPP systems and fits customers' needs for production-oriented computing." He noted key system features:
 -- The scalable heterogeneous architecture allows users to efficiently distribute programs, or portions of programs, between the system's parallel vector and MPP environments for fastest solution times.
 -- A 3-D torus interconnect topology minimizes network distances and provides the highest-known bisection bandwidth -- up to 76.8 gigabytes per second for a 1024-processor system. The 3-D torus avoids "far neighbor" communication delays found in other MPP systems. High- performance switch nodes, operating bidirectionally in each dimension, handle interprocessor communications without interrupting the processors.
 -- Sophisticated mechanisms for latency hiding and fast synchronization.
 -- A high-bandwidth I/O subsystem (gigabytes per second) to access Cray Research disk, tape and network peripherals.
 -- Globally shared, physically distributed memory allows any microprocessor to access any memory location, supporting ease-of- programming and high performance on applications with fine, medium and coarse-grained parallelism.
 -- The flexible CRAFT (Cray Research Adaptive Fortran) programming model supports traditional message-passing and data parallel programming, and provides a new work sharing capability. Customers can choose the programming style that best fits their applications, or any portion of them -- a choice not available before. Existing MPP codes can be ported easily, typically with improved performance. CRAFT, an extension of Fortran 77, includes Fortran 90 features such as array syntax and intrinsics.
 -- Applications development can start on CRAY Y-MP, CRAY C90, CRAY M90 or CRAY EL90 systems, using the previously introduced CRAY T3D Emulator.
 -- The C programming model provides portability to other platforms, using a highly optimized Parallel Virtual Machine (PVM) implementation of message passing.
 -- The CrayTools development suite includes the MPP Apprentice performance analyzer, the CRAY TotalView debugger, and a range of programming utilities.
 -- UNICOS MAX, a distributed, multiuser MPP operating system, functions as a fully compatible complement to the company's mature, feature-rich UNICOS
parallel vector operating system. UNICOS MAX allows the CRAY T3D system to be shared among many users, with applications partitions ranging from two processors to the whole system. Network compatibility with other vendors' systems is assured through compliance with industry standards: UNIX System V, BSD UNIX, POSIX 1003.1 (operating systems); Fortran 77, C (languages); HIPPI, FDDI, Ethernet (networks); RPC, OSI, TCP/IP (protocols); and PVM, RQS/NQS (distributed tools).
 -- A consistent generation-to-generation macroarchitecture means applications written for the CRAY T3D will run easily on future Cray Research MPP systems. A variable microarchitecture means that for future-generation MPP systems, Cray Research can use the fastest microprocessors available at those times.
 "Few important commercial applications are available today on existing MPP systems," said Bob Ewald, Cray Research executive vice president and general manager, Supercomputer Operations. "We expect the CRAY T3D system to rapidly improve that situation."
 In partnership with application vendors and customers, including those involved in the PATP program, Cray Research is developing a wide range of application software for the CRAY T3D system, Ewald said. The company's first initiatives will focus on these areas:
 -- 3-D prestack seismic processing for petroleum exploration
 -- Atmospheric modeling for weather prediction and climate research
 -- Computational fluid dynamics and structural analysis for the aerospace, automotive, chemical and semiconductor industries
 -- Computational chemistry for drug design and materials science applications
 -- Computational electromagnetics for electronics and defense applications
 -- Combustion modeling for engine design
 Dr. Michael Levine, scientific co-director of PSC, reported that "our prototype CRAY T3D system is now available full time for applications development, and is proving to be very stable." Representatives of Los Alamos National Laboratory said they already have their Parallel Ocean Program (POP) global climate model running on a CRAY T3D system located at Cray Research.
 Immediately available for the CRAY T3D system, Ewald said, are third-party applications in computational fluid dynamics (FLO67); chemistry (AMBER, CHARMM, GAMESS USA, SUPERMOLECULE); combustion (FIRE); environment (POP); and structural analysis (LS-DYNA3D). Additional codes in these areas and the petroleum area are currently being pursued. He said the system will use the IMSL mathematical software libraries. The PARMACS programming model is scheduled to be ported to the system later this year, making a range of additional applications immediately available.
 Ewald outlined the company's previously announced three-phase MPP program. Plans call for delivering the second-generation system in mid- decade, with peak performance of a teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second); and the third-phase system later in the decade, with sustained teraflops performance.
 He reaffirmed the company's plans to deliver a next-generation parallel vector system, code-named Triton, around the middle of the decade. "For the foreseeable future, some applications will continue to perform better on our parallel vector supercomputers like the CRAY C90, CRAY M90 and their successors, while other programs run more efficiently on our MPP systems. We'll be able to offer customers both," he said.
 Cray Research creates the most powerful, highest-quality computational tools to help solve our customers' most challenging problems.
 -0- 9/27/93
 /CONTACT: Chris Malecek or Steve Conway, media, 612-683-7133 or Laura Merriam, financial, 612-683-7395, all for Cray Research/

CO: Cray Research, Inc. ST: Minnesota IN: CPR SU: PDT

DB-DS -- MN001 -- 5814 09/27/93 09:11 EDT
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Date:Sep 27, 1993

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