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Contents May 2005
Aston University in England selects Cray XD1 supercomputer for science and engineering research
Heidelberg 13 April 2005

Aston University, in the heart of England's industrial midlands, has selected the new Cray XD1 supercomputer to advance scientific and engineering research across a broad spectrum of disciplines. The system is one of the largest ordered by a European customer since the Cray XD1 supercomputer began shipping to Europe in November 2004.

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Aston will make the innovative Cray XD1 supercomputer available to researchers in all of its departments in the School of Engineering and Applied Science for advanced work in chemical engineering, applied chemistry, computer science, electronic engineering, engineering systems and management, and information engineering. Aston will also exploit the Cray XD1 system's field programmable gate array (FPGA) capabilities for acceleration of key applications.

"We compared the Cray XD1 supercomputer with two 'conventional' clusters from other manufacturers", stated Professor Ian Nabney of Aston University's Neural Computing Research Group. "On the Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT) benchmarks, the Cray scaled much better to larger problems, offering about 3.5 times faster computation at 16 nodes for one-million point FFTs. The faster computation on problems with high communication overhead is the most important feature for our work. We also expect to use the system's FPGAs for random number generation for large Monte Carlo simulations."

"Cray is excited that Aston University researchers will rely on the Cray XD1 supercomputer to support their advanced scientific and engineering work. We will collaborate closely with Professor Nabney and his colleagues to ensure that Aston's important goals for this system are met", stated Ulla Thiel, vice president responsible for Cray Europe.
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