Skip to main content

You are here

NNSA Selects Cray to Build Next Supercomputing Platform

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that Cray Inc. has been awarded the contract to build NNSA’s next generation supercomputing platform.

The new platform, named Cielo, will support all three NNSA national laboratories – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. The selection was made through a highly competitive procurement process that included a technical evaluation by members of the labs. Design, procurement and deployment were accomplished by the NNSA’s New Mexico Alliance for Computing at Extreme Scale (ACES). This is a joint partnership between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.

“Cielo, the culmination of more than two years of hard work by our entire team, will be an invaluable addition to the suite of supercomputing platforms that helps NNSA ensure the safety, security and effectiveness of the nuclear stockpile without testing,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “This has been a great partnership between the labs and has brought together unique capabilities and expertise from each institution. NNSA looks forward to enabling the solution of critical national security problems using this platform.”

With a projected platform cost of less than $54 million, Cielo is the next generation capability class platform for NNSA’s Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) program. Cielo will be installed in third quarter of 2010, with additional capability planned for 2011. The architecture of Cielo will be based on Cray’s next generation “Baker” architecture.

NNSA’s ASC Roadmap defines a path to predictive capability, which will provide the scientific underpinning required to support national security in a world with nuclear technology. In support of these goals Cielo will be dedicated to running the NNSA’s largest and most demanding modeling and simulation workload in the Nuclear Security Enterprise’s (NSE’s) National User Facility. Cielo has been designed to support large single jobs capable of utilizing the entire platform.

Cielo will provide more than ten times the capability of the Purple platform at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and will replace it as the NSE’s National User Facility. This additional increased capability will be used to increase understanding of complex physics and improve confidence in the predictive capability for stockpile stewardship.

The platform will be housed at the Strategic Computing Complex facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory. This latest acquisition continues NNSA’s tradition of leadership in high performance computational science and technology. The laboratories will share intellectual capabilities and capitalize on their existing expertise in developing architectures and designs for future platforms that push the boundaries of technology and scale.

About Cray Inc.: As a global leader in supercomputing, Cray provides highly advanced supercomputers and world-class services and support to government, industry and academia. Cray technology is designed to enable scientists and engineers to achieve remarkable breakthroughs by accelerating performance, improving efficiency and extending the capabilities for their most demanding applications. Cray’s Adaptive Supercomputing vision is focused on delivering innovative next-generation products that integrate diverse processing technologies into a unified architecture, allowing customers to surpass today’s limitations and meeting the market’s continued demand for realized performance. Go to for more information.

Follow NNSA News on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the United States and abroad.

Media contact(s):

NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371