Cray debuts air-cooled supercomputer for just $500K

crayxc30cray-logoSeattle-based Cray, which builds some of the world’s fastest supercomputers normally priced in the millions, just debuted a new “budget” option for those not looking to break the bank.

Available today from Cray is the air-cooled XC30-AC, which is essentially a cousin of the XC-30 that normally sells for $10 million to $30 million. The XC30-AC shares the same software and processors as the XC-30 and is intended for “technical-enterprise” customers working in fields like manufacturing, life sciences, financial services and energy that need supercomputing abilities on the cheap.

The XC30-AC will start at $500,000 and sell for as much as $3 million.

“Innovation is not limited to Fortune 100 companies,” Peg Williams, Cray’s senior VP of high performance computing systems, said in a press release. “There are many Fortune 1000 companies, and even departments within Fortune 100 companies, with a growing need for a supercomputing system that provides a critical tool for taking advantage of performing complex simulations.”

Unlike the XC30, the XC30-AC can be cooled by air conditioners instead of a specially-constructed liquid cooling system. Cray announced that a global consumer electronics company and a global financial services company have already purchased the new supercomputer.

Last week, Cray posted a first quarter net loss of $7.6 million on revenue of $79.5 million. That compared to net income of $5 million on revenue of $112.3 million for the same period last year.

The company’s profit margin also shrunk to 30 percent from 40 percent, with the product margin also slipping based on items related to the acquisition of Appro and the weakening of the Japanese Yen. It finished the quarter with $251 million in cash and investments.

The company said it expects revenue of about $500 million for the year, with about 45 percent of the revenue coming in the fourth quarter.

  • Gr8

    Fantastic move! At $500K I could see our small business getting one. That’s actually quite affordable. It’d just be interesting to know what kind of performance one gets for that money. I’m sure they’ll succeed with this, there’s many small businesses in my domain that require tremendous processing power but couldn’t afford it. Until now.

  • Thiago

    Well, that ought to cut back on a lot of big corporations’ A/C bills! And that price, what a steal! I have a feeling Cray is going to flourish after this. Thiago | http://www.billsplumbingheatingair.com