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With the delivery next month of the Cray X1 supercomputer, the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Cray Inc. will take a big step toward investigating computer architectures for scientific discovery. The Cray X1 is the first U.S. computer to offer vector processing and massively parallel processing capabilities in a single architecture and will be used to solving scientific problems in climate, biology, nanoscale materials, fusion and astrophysics.
Intel-rival Advanced Micro Devices got a nice science win Monday when Sandia National Laboratory and Cray Inc. said they would build a supercomputer capable 40 trillion calculations per second using AMD's forthcoming Opteron processor. Ten thousand of them, to be precise. Total cost: $90 million. Sandia says it will use the computing heavyweight for "modeling and simulation of complex problems that were only recently thought impractical, if not impossible."