High performance computing specialist Cray has been awarded a contract to deliver a CS400 cluster supercomputer to the Laboratory Computing Resource Center (LCRC) at the Argonne National Laboratory, Illinois, USA.

The cluster has been named Bebop, after the jazz style, with LCRC historically naming its computers along jazz themes. Bebop will join Theta, a Cray XC40 supercomputer, and the upcoming Aurora system - a $200m, 180 petaflop/s cluster set for 2018. All the computers are provided with support from the on-site ALCF Intel-Cray Center of Excellence.

Cray cluster supercomputer
– Cray

Bebop cowboys

“At its core, the mission of the LCRC is to provide Argonne’s users with supercomputing resources that expand research horizons, provide the training and assistance for more productive research projects, and enable larger and more complex studies,” Rick Stevens, associate laboratory director for Computing, Environment and Life Sciences, said.

“Supercomputers are important tools for the Laboratory’s efforts in many areas, including energy storage, new materials, nuclear energy, climate change, and efficient transportation.”

Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray, added: “Cray supercomputers continue to power the amazing research conducted by the Argonne user community, and we are honored that the LCRC has selected a Cray CS400 as the next flagship system for this important program.

“We are proud of our ongoing partnership with Argonne, and with Theta and the upcoming Aurora system, and now Bebop, we look forward to an exciting future with this important customer.”

Bebop is expected to be put into production in mid-2017. 

Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the US Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

Previous DoE supercomputers, including Aurora, were greenlit by the Obama administration, namely the Secretary of Energy Dr Ernest Moniz. Under Rick Perry picked by President Trump, funding for the Department of Energy and its HPC programs may be under threat, with heavy cuts rumored to be in the works.

Last week, the DoE stopped processing paperwork for tens of millions of dollars already pledged to research as part of its Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). A 2018 budget blueprint has proposed eliminating ARPA-E altogether.