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PITTSBURGH SUPERCOMPUTING CENTER'S PROTOTYPE CRAY T3D SYSTEM IN OPERATION; NO HARDWARE INTERRUPTS IN MORE THAN TWO MONTHS

 PORTLAND, Ore., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The CRAY T3D system at Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) just keeps going, and going, and going...
 "This system hasn't experienced a hardware failure since its acceptance more than 10 weeks ago," said Michael Levine, scientific co- director at PSC. "We've been very pleased with the stability of this new hardware and have been able to exploit the system's constant availability for our important applications development work."
 According to Janet Brown, PSC manager of production systems, "The CRAY T3D system has been rock solid since we installed it. This is amazing stability for a prototype system. This is a brand new architecture for Cray, a brand new system, and the company's first customer installation. The system has been running 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
 An additional reliability factor, according to Brown, was that the system, while connected to the 16-processor CRAY C90 system at PSC, has not interfered with or hampered the full production supercomputing environment provided by that system. The CRAY C916 system is used by hundreds of PSC users around the clock each day, she said.
 "The CRAY T3D system is a heterogeneous MPP that is closely coupled with our CRAY C90 system," said Brown. "The CRAY C90 is constantly loaded with our users' work and keeping it in operation is essential to the supercomputer center. The T3D has had no adverse effect on our production whatsoever."
 Brown pointed out that PSC is using the beta version of Cray Research's UNICOS MAX operating system software for the prototype CRAY T3D system. UNICOS MAX will be formally made available later this year.
 As part of a partnership agreement under Cray's Parallel Applications Technology Program (PATP), PSC received the first CRAY T3D system shipped from Cray Research. The PATP program is aimed at rapidly expanding the number of applications available in the new MPP arena, using the CRAY T3D system as a platform for running these applications first, and at unprecedented speeds, according to John Champine, Cray Research's PATP manager.
 As part of the program, PSC's focus over the next 12 months is on software programs in computational chemistry, materials science, computational fluid dynamics, and biomedical applications. Some of these programs will be ported wholly to the CRAY T3D system and some will run heterogeneously between the CRAY T3D and CRAY C90 systems.
 Since PSC's CRAY T3D system has been up and running, the center's staff has been focusing on porting several key, heavily used programs for quantum chemistry and molecular modeling, said Ralph Roskies PSC's other scientific co-director.
 "Our staff began development work for the T3D months before the machine was on-site," said Roskies, "and we've made substantial progress. We are now extending the scope of this development activity to include our user community."
 Along with work on several other applications programs, the PSC staff has been working to migrate portions of the AMBER program to the CRAY T3D system, said Frank Wimberly, scientific applications coordinator at PSC: "About six months ago, we started the porting project and began using the CRAY T3D Emulator on PSC's CRAY C916 system."
 Nick Nystrom, scientific programmer on the PSC staff, said he was able to stage the AMBER port by using the Emulator to simulate the CRAY T3D MPP environment on the CRAY C90 system, enabling him to more effectively "map" the code onto the MPP architecture. He was able to save additional time by beginning the project with a PVM version of AMBER, which was supplied by Terry Lybrand, a professor at the University of Washington.
 AMBER is a popular code used by chemists for modeling large systems of biological interest, especially solvated proteins. According to Nystrom, AMBER is important in biomedical computing for the "grand challenge" protein folding problem which is integral to future drug design and understanding processes within living organisms.
 For the past six months, Nystrom has devoted 60 to 70 percent of his time to reworking a section of the AMBER program for the CRAY T3D system. He's honing in on 20,000 lines of code (AMBER has about 160,000 lines) that consume 90 to 95 percent of the processing cycles. He has successfully completed the porting project, but plans to spend additional time on certain areas of the code that can be further parallelized.
 "AMBER is running on the CRAY T3D and producing accurate results," said Nystrom. "We hope to see significant speedups on the T3D over the C90 and up to two orders of magnitude over the typical workstation implementations of AMBER." Nystrom noted that AMBER is popular among chemists using workstations, as well as those using Cray Research parallel vector supercomputers like the
CRAY C90 system. He said he hasn't yet been able to measure the scalability of AMBER on the CRAY T3D system and hopes to have solid comparison numbers over the CRAY C90 performance by early- to mid-next year.
 "PSC's MPP applications efforts are focusing on the parts of the program that can be parallelized enough to take advantage of the powerful CRAY T3D system," he said. "There are 16 programs in the AMBER software system, and four of them are clearly worth parallelizing. The remaining programs have short execution times and run well on the CRAY C90 system, so our efforts will probably be directed towards parallelizing other, more cycle-consuming applications."
 Nystrom added that the heterogeneous architecture of the Cray Research MPP environment is flexible and ideally suited for running these mixed applications.
 Cray Research creates the most powerful, highest-quality computational tools for solving the world's most challenging scientific and industrial problems.
 The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, a joint project of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with Westinghouse Electric Corp., was established in 1986 by a grant from the National Science Foundation with support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Funding for the CRAY T3D system has also come from the Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Institutes of Health. To date more than 6,800 scientists and engineers at more than 495 university and industrial research centers in 49 states have used the centers's resources to advance their work.
 -0- 11/16/93
 /CONTACT: Mardi Larson of Cray Research, 612-683-3538/
 (CYR)


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

CP-AL -- MN003 -- 4900 11/16/93 08:52 EST
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Date:Nov 16, 1993
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