Supercomputer vendor Cray Inc has won an $8.4m multi-year order from Spain’s National Institute of Meteorology (INM) for its new Cray X1, which is being pitched as the world’s most powerful supercomputer.
The Cray X1 product is due to be formally introduced by Seattle, Washington-based Cray later this year, but the company has already shipped five of the multi-streaming vector processing beasts to undisclosed customer sites for acceptance tests. Those tests have now been completed by all five customers, the company said.
Meanwhile, Spain’s INM will not be getting its hands on the Cray X1 for some time, as it isn’t scheduled to be installed at the INM’s Madrid facility until mid-2003. Until then, the meteorologists will have to settle for an interim Cray SV1 system, the antecedent of the X1. Once installed, the X1 will be used for weather forecasting and climate modeling and will increase INM’s computing capacity by a factor of 225 after its expansion in early 2005.
The successful launch of the X1 is seen as an integral component for Cray in the coming year. The development of the SV architecture on which it is based is also seen as critically important to the US government for its internal security initiatives, and has been partially funded by the government. Additionally, the company has received $19m worth of orders from defense agencies for the X1 as well as a $9m order from the US Army.