Cray lands $174 million deal to build supercomputer to manage U.S. nuclear arsenal


The U.S. government has just hired Cray Inc., a supercomputer company, to build a supercomputer that would help manage the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Cray announced July 10 that it had been awarded the contract for $174 million with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

The system will advance the NNSA and help secure the safety of the U.S. nuclear supply. The computer will be named Trinity. Over the course of the contract, Cray will build a multipetaflop supercomputing system and a multipetabyte Cray Sonexion storage system.

"Both Los Alamos and Sandia have a long history with Cray, going back to the beginning of the supercomputing era and most recently with the Cielo platform," said Gary Grider, High Performance Computing Division Leader at Los Alamos. "That history continues with the Trinity platform that will provide next-generation supercomputing in support of the U. S. nuclear security enterprise."

The new supercomputer system will support all three of the NNSA national laboratories, which include Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The NNSA is currently using a supercomputer designed by Cray and located at Los Alamos, a Cray XE6 model named Cielo. The new Trinity system is expected to deliver more than eight times greater applications performance than the Cielo system, according to the press release.

"It is a real honor that one of the largest contracts in our company's history has come from one of our most important customers," said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray. "Our partnership and collaboration with the NNSA has led to the development of groundbreaking supercomputing systems, including the Cray XT3 system that resulted from the Red Storm project. The NNSA has consistently deployed the world's most advanced supercomputing systems to support their critical mission of ensuring the health of our nation's nuclear stockpile."

The contract is valued at more than $174 million in total, which includes products and services offered by Cray. The contract has multiple phases and is expected to take several years to complete, continuing through at least 2016. The NNSA does not yet have a time announced for when it expects Trinity to be completed and running.

This contract is one of Cray's biggest-ever contracts. It has not been stated yet whether the U.S. would use Cray's system to deploy the nuclear weapons if the need should ever come up.

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