The Red Storm is rising for Sandia Labs

Sandia National Laboratories and Cray Inc. of Seattle have forged a $90 million deal for a massively parallel supercomputer to simulate the aging process of nuclear weapons. The system at the Albuquerque, N.M., lab will be part of the Energy Department's Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative.

Red Storm will have a theoretical peak performance of 40 trillion operations per second at two calculations per clock cycle, said William J. Camp, Sandia's director of computers, computation, information and mathematics. Slated for completion in fiscal 2004, Red Storm will use more than 10,000 Opteron processors from Advanced Micro Devices Inc. of Sunnyvale, Calif.

Sandia researchers designed Red Storm's high-level architecture, which Cray will build with about 10T of memory and 240T of disk storage, Camp said.

Much of the parallel design is based on the Cray T3E architecture. Some features could find their way into high-end commercial systems, said Christopher Jehn, Cray's vice president of government programs.

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