Cray and AMD EPYC join forces for new supercomputer product line

AMD EPYC 7000 processors get a home inside Cray's new CS500 cluster systems.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
​Cray CS500 cluster systems

Cray CS500 cluster systems

Global supercomputer leader Cray is turning to AMD's EPYC 7000 series processors to power the new Cray CS500 cluster high-performance computing (HPC) systems.

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The Cray CS500 cluster systems with AMD EPYC 7000 processors will come with four dual-socket nodes packed into a standard 2U chassis, with each node supporting two PCIe Gen3 x16 slots offering 200Gb network capability, along with a selection of storage options.

AMD EPYC 7000 processors support up to 32 cores and eight DDR4 memory channels per socket, which according to Cray make it ideally suited to HPC applications that demand high density and large memory bandwidths, applications such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

Flexibility is at the heart of the Cray CS500 design. At the system level, the CS500 cluster offers multiple chassis, blade and node options, multiple interconnect topology options, local storage and network-attached file system options, and system-management capabilities matched to the needs of a large-scale HPC cluster. It is to expand this flexibility that Cray is adding AMD EPYC processors to the CS500 offering.

​Cray Cluster software stack

Cray Cluster software stack

"Our decision to offer AMD EPYC processors in our CS500 product line is emblematic of Cray's commitment to the community to deliver a comprehensive line of high-density systems with an optimized programing environment to deliver the required performance and scalability," said Fred Kohout, senior vice president of products and chief marketing officer at Cray.

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"Cray's leadership in supercomputing is well known and AMD is thrilled to be working with them on the CS500 cluster system," said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, datacenter and embedded solutions, AMD. "Cray is the first system vendor to offer an optimized programing environment for AMD EYPC processors, which is a distinct advantage. Combining AMD EPYC processors with Cray's supercomputing expertise opens new opportunities for both companies to grow."

Earlier this month Yahoo Japan became the first Japanese ISP to deploy single-socket PowerEdge servers powered by AMD's EPYC processors. Earlier this year Dell EMC unveiled a line of single-and dual-socket EPYC-powered PowerEdge servers, which offered 20 percent lower total cost of ownership and 25 percent more HPC performance.

In December of 2017 Baidu, the Chinese internet search provider and leader in artificial intelligence, announced the availability of AMD EPYC-powered AI, big data, and cloud computing (ABC) services.

The same month saw Microsoft become the first global cloud provider to use EPYC processors in its datacenters. And in November of the same year, the new EPYC-powered Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) ProLiant DL385 Gen10 server set new world records.

The Cray CS500 system featuring AMD EPYC processors will be offered alongside Intel Xeon offerings and will become available summer 2018.

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