First U.S. Exascale Supercomputer to Be a Cray Shasta System

Cray to Deliver Supercomputer for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Labs in 2021 in Partnership with Intel; Second Major Win for Shasta Architecture

SEATTLE, March 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Global supercomputer leader Cray Inc. (Nasdaq:CRAY) today announced that a Cray “Shasta™” system will be the first U.S. exascale supercomputer. Cray was selected to deliver the system, as a subcontractor to Intel, to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory in 2021.  The program contract is valued at more than $100 million for Cray, one of the largest contracts in the company’s history. The Argonne system, named Aurora, will be comprised of more than 200 Shasta cabinets, Cray’s unique software stack optimized for Intel architectures and the Cray Slingshot™ interconnect, as well as next generation Intel technology innovations in compute processor, memory and storage technologies.

Announced in October 2018, Shasta is an entirely new design and is set to be the technology to underpin the next era of supercomputing, characterized by exascale performance capability, new data-centric workloads, and  heterogeneous computing. This is the second major win for Shasta systems in the last six months. NERSC, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, chose a Cray “Shasta” supercomputer for its pre-exascale system, named “Perlmutter.” That Cray contract was valued at $146 million.

“Cray is honored to partner with Intel to build and deliver the first U.S. exascale supercomputer to Argonne,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray. “It is an exciting testament to Shasta’s flexible design and unique system and software capabilities, along with our Slingshot interconnect, which will be the foundation for Argonne’s extreme-scale science endeavors and data-centric workloads. Shasta is designed for this transformative exascale era and the convergence of artificial intelligence, analytics and modeling and simulation– all at the same time on the same system -- at incredible scale.”

Shasta was designed to meet the demanding and evolving needs of the exascale era with the flexibility to support current and future processing architectures for years to come. Aurora will be powered by a range of next generation Intel technologies including a future generation of the Intel Xeon™ Scalable processor, Intel’s Xe compute architecture, Intel® Optane™ DC Persistent Memory, and Intel’s One API software. Cray designed the Slingshot scalable interconnect to handle the complex processing and communication of HPC and AI applications to run on exascale systems. Slingshot is a complete rethinking of the interconnect for extreme scale and has added novel adaptive routing, quality-of-service, and congestion management features.

Aurora will use a combination of Intel software components and new Cray System software designed for Shasta to enable modularity and extensibility of the system over time. By unifying the Shasta compute and Slingshot interconnect with a single management and software application development infrastructure, workloads on the Aurora system will run more optimally to deliver researchers more realized performance and accelerate their time to insight.

"It seems fitting that America's first exascale supercomputer, the country's initial entrant in the global exascale race, is a Cray, a name synonymous with the word supercomputer," said Steve Conway, Hyperion Research senior vice president of research. "This implementation of Cray's Shasta architecture was developed in collaboration with Intel and closely matches the wish list that leading HPC users have for the exascale era, but didn't expect to see so soon."

The Aurora system is being designed to deliver sustained exascale speeds to meet the most intensive computing needs of researchers around the world including artificial intelligence workloads.  These researchers will use the system to push through former computational boundaries on a path to new discoveries. Aurora will also host research programs such as the Early Science Program (ESP). This first of its kind access to exascale-class compute capabilities will provide researchers the potential to make new breakthroughs in computational science.  The first area of focus for the ESP targets applications in the areas of Data and Learning and the convergence with modeling and simulation. This research hopes to unlock new discoveries through novel applications of data-centric analytics that were core to the design thinking of the Shasta architecture. 

“Intel has had a longstanding relationship with Cray, and together we have developed some of the world’s most advanced supercomputers. We are excited to extend that record of success with the creation of the first exascale system in the U.S., furthering technology leadership,” said Patricia Damkroger, vice president and general manager of the Extreme Computing Organization, Intel.  “Our leading technologies—including innovations in processors, memory and software—will enable the Aurora system to tackle data-intensive artificial intelligence workloads at an unprecedented scale.”

The Aurora system is expected to be delivered in 2021 and accepted in 2022.  Cray currently expects to complete and enter into modifications to its subcontract with Intel in mid-2019 covering delivery of the Aurora system.

For more information about the work being done at DOE’s Argonne National Laboratory visit their website HERE.

About Cray Inc.
Cray Inc. (Nasdaq:CRAY) combines computation and creativity so visionaries can keep asking questions that challenge the limits of possibility. Drawing on more than 45 years of experience, Cray develops the world’s most advanced supercomputers, pushing the boundaries of performance, efficiency and scalability. Cray continues to innovate today at the convergence of data and discovery, offering a comprehensive portfolio of supercomputers, high-performance storage, data analytics and artificial intelligence solutions.  Go to for more information.

Safe Harbor Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, including, but not limited to, statements related to the completion of a subcontract with Intel for delivery of the Aurora system to Argonne, Cray’s product development, sales, and delivery plans relating to Shasta supercomputing systems, the features, performance and components of Cray Shasta systems, the timing and delivery of the Aurora system for Argonne, including Aurora being the first U.S. exascale supercomputer, and Cray’s ability to deliver a system that meets Argonne’s requirements.  These statements involve current expectations, forecasts of future events and other statements that are not historical facts. Inaccurate assumptions and known and unknown risks and uncertainties can affect the accuracy of forward-looking statements and cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated by these forward-looking statements.  Factors that could affect actual future events or results include, but are not limited to, the risk that Cray is not able to successfully complete the modifications to its subcontract with Intel for delivery of the Aurora system to Argonne when expected or at all, the risk the terms, including financial terms, of the subcontract with Intel, if and when completed, are not as favorable to Cray as expected, the risk that Cray is not able to successfully complete its planned product development efforts or to ship Shasta systems within the planned timeframe or at all, the risk that Shasta systems will not have the features, performance or components currently planned, the risk that processors planned for Cray Shasta systems are not available when expected or with the performance or pricing expected, the risk that the system required by Argonne is not delivered in a timely fashion or does not perform as expected and such other risks as identified in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018, and from time to time in other reports filed by Cray with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  You should not rely unduly on these forward-looking statements, which apply only as of the date of this release.  Cray undertakes no duty to publicly announce or report revisions to these statements as new information becomes available that may change the Company’s expectations.

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