ARSC T3D Users' Newsletter 63, December 1, 1995

Announcing the T3E

Below is the CRI announcement of the T3D, in case you haven't seen it somewhere else. Below that is the article from the Wall Street Journal of 11/27/95 about the T3E announcement:


  > EAGAN, Minn., Nov. 28, 1995 -- Cray Research, Inc. (NYSE:CYR)
  > today announced the CRAY T3E(tm) system, the world's first
  > truly scalable supercomputer, and said the system's pioneering
  > technologies redefine the concept of scalable computing.
  > These scalable technologies will be moved into Cray's current
  > and future supercomputer products, and over time can also
  > benefit the company's business server products, the company
  > said.
  > 
  > Cray Research reported $92 million in advance orders-to-date
  > for the new system, slated to begin shipping in early 1996, and
  > said it expects the CRAY T3E product to expand Cray's revenue
  > leadership in the market for the most powerful scalable
  > systems used for scientific and industrial computing.   Cray
  > said the systems have an affordable entry price, starting at
  > under $1 million and a price/performance as low as $60 per
  > megaflop (million floating-point operations per second).  The
  > company said it has improved price/performance 3 to 4-fold
  > over its previous-generation scalable parallel system.
  > 
  > Redefining Scalable Computing
  > 
  > "The CRAY T3E is the world's first computer system that
  > efficiently and cost-effectively scales upward from tens to
  > thousands of processors," said J. Phillip Samper, Cray
  > Research chairman and chief executive officer.  "This range of
  > scalability is unrivaled and the innovative technologies we've
  > developed for the CRAY T3E will be leveraged into our other
  > computer products -- our supercomputers and business
  > servers."
  > 
  > Other computer vendors have narrowly defined scalability as
  > the ability to add more processors and memory to a system.
  > "That approach creates systems that are expandable but not
  > truly scalable, meaning they can handle more small problems
  > but have performance bottlenecks that prevent them from
  > efficiently and cost-effectively tackling the biggest, most
  > important problems and large user workloads," Samper said.
  > 
  > He said the CRAY T3E system is the first in which every part of
  > the system scales with the number of processors -- scalable
  > interprocessor communication, scalable operating system,
  > scalable input/output (I/O), scalable memory, and therefore
  > attractive price/performance in all system sizes.
  > 
  > "This new concept of global scalability' means that the CRAY
  > T3E system provides leading performance and value in every
  > system size.   Customers are never outside of the sweet spot'
  > of the product's design, whether they order a system with tens
  > or thousands of processors,"  Samper said.  The company's
  > current CRAY T3D product demonstrated Cray's ability to scale
  > far beyond the competition and in 1994, made Cray the
  > revenue-leader in the technical market for highly scalable
  > systems.
  > 
  > "The compatible new CRAY T3E system is a milestone
  > achievement that takes scalability a giant step forward,"
  > Samper said.
  > 
  > Supercomputing Meets Moore's Law
  > 
  > "With our scalable parallel products Cray Research is bringing
  > supercomputer development into compliance with Moore's Law,
  > which effectively means doubling performance every 18-24
  > months," said Samper.   Cray is operating on this same model
  > with its commercial business servers, he noted.
  > 
  > Cray Research is the worldwide revenue leader in the high-end
  > supercomputing market, with 1994 marketshare of more than
  > 70 percent, according to the Smaby Group, a Minneapolis-based
  > research firm that tracks high-performance computing.  "With
  > our CRAY T90 systems that began shipping in volume in the
  > third quarter and our CRAY T3E system announced today, we
  > have fully renewed our high-end products during 1995/96 in
  > order to maintain this committed leadership," Samper said.
  > 
  > Advance Orders
  > 
  > Cray Research reported orders from the Pittsburgh
  > Supercomputing Center, slated to receive the first large,
  > liquid-cooled system; Mobil Oil Company's Exploration and
  > Producing Technical Center; Electronic Data Systems (EDS);
  > Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique, Division des Applications
  > Militaire -- the military research division of the French
  > Atomic Energy Commission; Italian university Centro di
  > Calcolo Interuniversitario dell'Italia Nord-orientale (CINECA);
  > the French National Supercomputing Facility (IDRIS) for the
  > National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS); Research Centre
  > Juelich (KFA) in Germany, Forschungszentrum Juelich; the
  > National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's
  > Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (NOAA/GFDL); the San
  > Diego Supercomputer Center; and the Finnish Center for
  > Scientific Computing.  Additional customer names are being
  > withheld at the customers' requests.
  > 
  > Orders-to-date represent a broad spectrum of system sizes
  > from eight to 512 processors.  "We already have orders in hand
  > for systems with 512 processors," Samper said.  "To put that
  > in perspective, a single 512-processor CRAY T3E system has
  > peak speed equivalent to about 3,000 personal computers, or
  > 50 top-of-the-line Silicon Graphics PowerChallenge systems.
  > Multiply those comparison figures by four for the largest,
  > 2,048-processor CRAY T3E system," he added.  "It would take a
  > person using a hand-held calculator more than 150,000 years
  > to do what a 2,048-processor CRAY T3E system does in one
  > second," he said.
  > 
  > "Cumulatively, Cray Research has installed or received orders
  > for more than 10,000 processors and over three teraflops of
  > peak computing power with our scalable parallel systems,
  > which I believe makes us the leader in those categories as
  > well," Samper said.
  > 
  > The flexibility of the CRAY T3E system, which requires no host
  > system and is available with virtually any number of
  > processors, is also producing multiple-system orders in which
  > a larger system is used as a powerful central server and one or
  > more smaller systems are networked to the larger system as
  > departmental servers or development platforms.
  > 
  > Samper said orders for the new system are well ahead of the
  > advance order pace set by the current CRAY T3D product.  Over
  > the CRAY T3E system's lifetime, primarily 1996 and 1997,
  > Samper said he expects the new product to earn substantially
  > more revenue than the CRAY T3D, Cray's first-generation
  > scalable parallel supercomputer product, thanks to the CRAY
  > T3E system's increased performance and price/performance,
  > more flexible configurations, lower entry pricing and other
  > enhancements.
  > 
  > Market Focus
  > 
  > Advance orders for the CRAY T3E system closely reflect Cray's
  > market focus for the new product, according to Robert H.
  > Ewald, Cray Research president and chief operating officer.
  > "As with our current CRAY T3D system, we anticipate strong
  > demand from government laboratories, university-based R&D
  > centers, and automotive, petroleum, aerospace, weather and
  > environmental organizations of all sizes.  They typically need
  > to solve problems of unprecedented size and complexity, while
  > reliably supporting hundreds or thousands of technical users in
  > scientific and engineering R&D and industrial production
  > computing environments."
  > 
  > "Our current CRAY T3D product was the first highly scalable
  > system to demonstrate the scalability, reliability and ease-of-
  > programming needed to run real-world technical applications
  > in production environments," Ewald said.  "Chrysler
  > Corporation, for example, is running a third-party code LS-
  > DYNA3D on its CRAY T3D for day-to-day production runs of
  > metal stamping simulations to improve the manufacturability
  > of its new car designs.  Phillips Petroleum used its CRAY T3D
  > system to determine the commercial value of a new subsalt oil
  > field in the Gulf of Mexico, and other customers are using this
  > system to run exciting new applications from long-term global
  > climate prediction to traffic simulation, environmental
  > remediation and virtual surgery."
  > 
  > CRAY T3E Product Highlights:
  > 
  > *The CRAY T3E system combines a sophisticated Cray Research
  > supercomputer system design (architecture), including Cray
  > logic chips implemented in low-cost CMOS technology, with
  > the world's fastest RISC microprocessor -- the DECchip 21164
  > (DEC Alpha EV5) from Digital Equipment Corporation -- with
  > peak performance of 600 million calculations per second
  > (megaflops) in IEEE standard 32-bit and 64-bit mode.
  > 
  > *The system design is scalable from eight to 2048 processors,
  > representing a peak performance range of 4.8 billion
  > calculations per second (gigaflops) to 1.2 teraflops.  The
  > system is productized from 16 processors (9.6 gigaflops)
  > upward.
  > 
  > *Air-cooled CRAY T3E models are available with 16-128
  > processors (9.6-76.8 peak gigaflops), 1-256 gigabytes of total
  > memory, and 2-16 gigabytes/second of I/O bandwidth.  Liquid-
  > cooled models are available with 64-2048 processors (38.4
  > gigaflops-1.2 teraflops), 4 gigabytes-4 terabytes of total
  > memory, and 4-128 gigabytes/second of I/O bandwidth.
  > 
  > *The CRAY T3E system has been designed to support faster
  > DEC Alpha processors, to be offered in future options.  Existing
  > customers can take advantage of faster processors as the
  > system can support a mixture of processor speeds within the
  > same system for partial upgrades.
  > 
  > *The current CRAY T3D system needs to be linked to Cray
  > parallel vector system capability.  The new CRAY T3E product
  > requires no host system -- it can either operate as a single
  > network node or be compatibly linked to a Cray parallel vector
  > system.
  > 
  > *Entry pricing begins at under $1 million (U.S. list) for a 16-
  > processor system with 1 gigabyte of memory and 9.6 gigaflops
  > of peak performance, compared with initial entry pricing of
  > $2.2-$7 million for the CRAY T3D system.  U.S. list pricing for
  > a 1024-processor CRAY T3E system begins at $39.7 million for
  > a configuration with 64 gigabytes of memory and 600 gigaflops
  > of peak performance.
  > 
  > *Each processing element (PE) includes a DEC Alpha
  > microprocessor, local DRAM memory with flexible capacity
  > options ranging from 64 megabytes to 2 gigabytes, and memory
  > bandwidth of 1.2 gigabytes/second.  A globally addressable
  > memory subsystem allows all of these memories accessible by
  > any PE in the system, making the system more usable than
  > other parallel offerings on the market today.
  > 
  > *PEs are linked together by a 3-D torus network six times
  > faster per PE than the industry-leading interconnect in the
  > current CRAY T3D system -- in a 512-PE system, bisection
  > bandwidth exceeds 122 gigabytes/second.  As PEs are added,
  > interprocessor and I/O bandwidth scale accordingly, enabling
  > scalable applications to run as efficiently on larger systems
  > as on smaller ones.
  > 
  > *UNICOS/mk, a scalable (serverized microkernel) version of
  > Cray's UNICOS operating system, is distributed among system
  > processing elements -- competing systems typically
  > "replicate" a full copy of the operating system on each PE.  The
  > UNICOS/mk scalable operating system makes substantially
  > more memory available for problem solving and provides a
  > single system image that makes the CRAY T3E far easier to
  > administer and use.  UNICOS/mk provides the flexibility and
  > effective workload management, for example, for a 64-
  > processor CRAY T3E system to run 64 single-processor jobs,
  > one 64-processor job, or any combination in between.
  > 
  > *Cray's breakthrough GigaRing scalable input/output (I/O) and
  > network technology, a dual-ring channel with maximum data
  > payload bandwidth of 1 gigabyte per channel, provides almost
  > unlimited high-speed access to peripherals, networks and
  > other Cray systems, along with enhanced reliability features.
  > The largest CRAY T3E systems provide up to 128
  > gigabytes/second of I/O bandwidth.  I/O channels and nodes can
  > be configured to support up to quadrillions of bytes (petabytes)
  > of disk capacity.
  > 
  > *The CRAY T3E system provides an array of additional
  > reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) features for
  > production computing, including hot swapping of PE modules
  > without rebooting.
  > 
  > *Industry-leading Fortran 90, C and C++ compilers, each
  > supporting Cray's high-performance implementations of the
  > standard PVM and MPI explicit programming models, as well as
  > a Fortran implicit programming model.  Also included are
  > Cray's advanced visual programming and analysis tools -- The
  > Cray TotalView Debugger, The Cray Program Browser, and MPP
  > Apprentice.
  > 
  > Research done for the development of the CRAY T3E system
  > was partially supported by the Advanced Research Projects
  > Agency under Agreement No. MDA972-95-3-0032 dated January
  > 12, 1995.
  > 
  > Cray Research provides the leading high-performance tools and
  > services to help solve customers' most challenging problems.
  > 
  >                            ###
  > 
  > Editor's Note: Cray Research chairman and chief executive
  > officer J. Phillip Samper will introduce the CRAY T3E system
  > during the Supercomputing 95 show, Dec. 4-7, in San Diego.
  > Please see additional release issued today on details of Cray's
  > innovative scalable technologies, as well as the CRAY T3E
  > feature page on Cray's WWW site at http://www.cray.com/.
  > 
  > *************************************************
The Wall Street Journal article:

 
  >  Cray Research to Unveil 2nd-Generation Parallel Processor for Technical Market
  >  
  >  By William M Bulkeley, Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal
  >  
  >  Cray Research Inc., bidding to reassert its dominance of high-end scientific
  >  supercomputing, is expecting to unveil tomorrow a new parallel-processing
  >  supercomputer with unprecedented speed.
  >  
  >  The Eagan, Minn., computer maker has been best-known for its multimillion-
  >  dollar vector supercomputers that use just a few very powerful processors. 
  >  The new Cray T3E will be its second-generation parallel processor. Unlike 
  >  its predecessor, the T3D, it operates without being connected to a traditional 
  >  vector supercomputer.
  >  
  >  People familiar with the machine say it will have a theoretical top speed of
  >  more than one trillion operations per second, or one teraflops, a measure of
  >  supercomputer speed. Currently the only planned teraflops machine is one that
  >  Intel Corp. is building for the Energy Department's Sandia National Laborator-
  >  ies.
  >  
  >  "We look at this as evidence of Cray reasserting its franchise in the techni-
  >  cal computing market," said Debra Goldfard, who follows supercomputers for 
  >  International Data Corp., a market research firm in Framingham, Mass. "Cray's 
  >  back in the game."
  >  
  >  The smallest models are likely to be priced at well under $1 million. Buyers 
  >  will be able to increase power by adding just a few processors at a time in
  >  the future making the systems "highly scalable" in industry parlance. The T3E
  >  can be built with as few as 16 processors or as many as 2,048 processors.
  >  
  >  The reconfirms Cray's capabilities to build very efficient high-performance
  >  computers," said Philip Samper, chairman and chief executive officer, who 
  >  was hired last spring. Cray has said it will report a net loss for the 
  >  current year, reflecting restructuring charges as Mr. Samper cuts costs, and 
  >  sales are weak as customers have been waiting for new generations of both 
  >  Cray's T90 vector supercomputers and the T3E. Mr. Samper said that Cray will
  >  be profitable in the current fourth quarter on an operating basis before an
  >  expected restructuring charge, and "We expect to be profitable in 1996.
  >  That's very important for this company."
  >  
  >  Mr. Samper, who declined to discuss details of the T3E, said in an interview,
  >  "We have $100 million in orders already in house. When customers get so 
  >  excited they put money on the line, that's the ultimate test." The T3E won't
  >  be available for sale until the end of the first quarter of 1996. Cray's total
  >  backlog was $365 million at the end of the third quarter, including orders
  >  for the T3E.
  >  
  >  Cray, the longtime leader in scientific supercomputing, faced challenges from 
  >  a host of smaller companies in the late 1980s as well as three big Japanese 
  >  computer makers. But with the end of the Cold War, military need for super-
  >  computers diminished, Cray's sales plateaued and several of the smaller
  >  companies went out of business.
  >  
  >  Analysts estimate the high-performance-computer market at about $3 billion a
  >  year, with growth in commercial markets for large databases and video-
  >  servers for interactive-media, offsetting declines in government business. 
  >  International Business Machines Corp. and Silicon Graphics Inc. have both 
  >  grown rapidly by selling parallel-processing systems in those markets.
  >  
  >  Cray sells small commercial supercomputers and commercial servers for 
  >  computer networks of Sun Microsytems Inc. workstations. However, analysts 
  >  say it needs revenue from the high-performance scientific market to rebound. 
  >  Jay P. Stevens, an analyst with Dean Witter, says sales in the current year 
  >  will fall 27% to $675 million from $921 million. Next year he forecasts a 
  >  20% rise to $808 million. Mr. Stevens predicts a net loss before charges for 
  >  1995 of $73 million, or $1.25 a share, compared with net income of $55.7 
  >  million, or $2.32 a share, in 1994.
  >  
  >  Mr. Samper said that during the year, Cray has reduced research-and-
  >  development spending by 16% and lowered overheads. He said it plans to buy 
  >  more parts from outside suppliers, and is also controlling costs by 
  >  negotiating with government agencies to have them pick up certain research
  >  and support costs.

Current Editors:
Ed Kornkven ARSC HPC Specialist ph: 907-450-8669
Kate Hedstrom ARSC Oceanographic Specialist ph: 907-450-8678
Arctic Region Supercomputing Center
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756020
Fairbanks AK 99775-6020
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