Fully [H]
Apr 10, 2003
Cray has announced that it has created the first Exascale-class supercomputer called "Shasta." Shasta is an entirely new design that will feature exascale performance capability, new data-centric workloads, and processor architectures. New modularity and extensibility will be enabled through the next-generation Cray system software to allow different processors to be utilized in the system at the same time. AMD, Intel, Marvell, Mellanox, and NVIDIA expressed support for the platform.

"The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center has signed a contract with Cray for NERSC's next-generation supercomputer, a pre-exascale machine slated to be delivered in 2020. Named "Perlmutter," in honor of Berkeley Lab's Nobel Prize winning astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter, it is the first NERSC system specifically designed to meet the needs of large-scale simulations as well as data analysis from experimental and observational facilities." The total value of the contract is $146 million and will triple the computational power currently available at NERSC to assist scientists in extreme-scale science, developing new energy sources, improving energy efficiency, and discovering new materials. Analyzing massive data sets from scientific experimentation, the Cray system interconnect called Slingshot will move 4 terabytes/sec. Cray, AMD, and NVIDIA will collaborate to ensure Perlmutter meets the computational and data needs of its users.

Shasta lets customers fully realize Cray's longtime vision of adapting supercomputing systems to workloads using optimized processing and networking. This becomes additionally valuable as customers are increasingly concerned about choosing the optimal architecture as their workloads rapidly evolve. With Shasta, Cray can incorporate any processor choice -- or a heterogeneous mix -- with a single management and application development infrastructure. Customers can flex from single to multi-socket processor nodes, GPUs, FPGAs and other processing options that will emerge, such as AI specialized accelerators. Customers can make late-binding decisions on compute technology and not sacrifice capability, because Shasta's design allows tailoring of system density and injection bandwidth to optimize price and performance. Located at Berkeley Lab, NERSC is the mission high performance computing facility for the DOE Office of Science, supporting more than 7,000 scientists and 600 projects annually.


Apr 3, 2013
I'm curious about all the work these do.

Are there any discoveries which have for example re-shaped the way we understand the world, or help develop products which have come to market, or anything really tangible? I'm not against this kind of investment, because I do understand that it's important and to some degree the arms race of the 21st century, but I'm curious about exactly what they're doing.


Supreme [H]ardness
Nov 9, 2006
I mean this particular lab has produces 12 Nobel laureates (it is one many of the US national labs) so ya. If you want details look up the Wikipedia on them or their own website. They are publicly funded, run by a public university, means that their stuff is all public domain. They do classified research and that you won't get much info about, but there's plenty they'll tell you.