ORNL photos/Jay Nave
Jamison Daniel of ORNL did the graphics for the Gaea cabinets. In photo below, Al Enger, right, and Scott Morgan of Cray work on installation of the new Gaea components.
Cray recently delivered the final 26 cabinets of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Gaea climate research supercomputer, which is housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The newly arrived cabinets are loaded with the new AMD 16-core Interlagos processors. According to Jeff Nichols, an associate lab director at ORNL who heads the computational science directorate, the Gaea system is still in two pieces. The first piece is the original 14-cabinet system with a peak capability of 260 teraflops, Nichols said. The second piece is the new 26-cabinet system with a capability of 720 teraflops, he said.
After the first piece is upgraded in the spring and the two pieces are integrated into one system, Gaea will become a 1.1 petaflops supercomputer, ORNL’s computing chief (who returned from a visit to China last week, where he spoke at a conference) said.
Gaea is NOAA’s prime supercomputing resource, and it will become the third petascale machine housed at ORNL. Jaguar, soon to be morphed into Titan, and Kraken, a National Science Foundation machine, are the others.
According to info provided by ORNL, Gaea is liquid-cooled and uses Cray’s ECOphlex technology, which employs a refrigerant to remove most of the 2.2 MW heat load. “The technology is significantly more energy-efficient than the air-cooling systems typically found in other leading-edge HPC systems, the lab said.
The system, which is used for climate modeling and resource, also includes two separate Lustre parallel file systems “that handle data sets that rank among the world’s largest,” ORNL said. “NOAA research partners access the system remotely through speedy wide area connections. Two 10-gigabit (billion bit) lambdas, or optical waves, pass data to NOAA’s national research network through peering points at Atlanta and Chicago.”