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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Friday, April 10, 2009

DTC Science and Technology Innovators Lecture Series

Building really big computers


Steve Scott
Cray Inc.

Friday, April 10, 2009
Reception 9:45 a.m.
Seminar 10:10 a.m.

402 Walter Library

Steve Scott

Download flyer (PDF 271 KB)

The largest supercomputers today are the size of a basketball court, take over a megawatt to run, and contain over 100,000 high performance processors. Within the next five years, we'll likely build machines with over a million processors. There are significant challenges on the horizon as we continue to push system scale. This talk will survey some of the work being done today on the largest supercomputers, discuss the role of technology on machine design, and lay out the key technical challenges facing designers and users as we move beyond the Petaflop boundary and contemplate building machines at the Exaflop scale.


Steve Scott serves as Chief Technology Officer responsible for designing the integrated infrastructure that will drive Cray's next generation of supercomputer. Dr. Scott, who joined Cray in 1992, was formerly the chief architect of the Cray X1 scalable vector supercomputer and was instrumental in the design of the Cray/Sandia Red Storm supercomputer system. Dr. Scott holds fourteen US patents in the areas of interconnection networks, cache coherence, synchronization mechanisms, and scalable parallel architectures. He received his Ph.D. in computer architecture from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1992, where he was a Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation and Hertz Foundation Fellow. Dr. Scott has served on numerous program committees and as an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems. He is a noted expert in high performance computer architecture and interconnection networks, and was the recipient of the 2005 ACM Maurice Wilkes Award.