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June 01, 2010

SGI Announces Hybrid Computing Platform to Deliver a Petaflop in a Single Cabinet

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SGI a global leader in HPC and data center solutions, today announced at the International Supercomputing Conference (ISC, SC10) that it has developed a breakthrough hybrid computing platform that will deliver a petaflop of performance within a single cabinet. (A petaflop is defined as a thousand trillion floating point operations per second.) This innovative platform leverages open software architecture and will scale from tens to hundreds of petaflops, enabling users to tackle the most demanding technical compute requirements

There are no technical details about this announcement beyond what is in the press release, but as information becomes available we will provide updates.

SGI (Silicon Graphics) current Altix Ice 8400 servers require 33 cabinets to scale to a petaflop.

Altix ICE 8400, with its innovative blade design, easily and affordably scales to up to 65,536 compute nodes with integrated single or dual plane InfiniBand backplane interconnect. Open x86 architecture makes it equally simple to deploy commercial, open source or custom applications on completely unmodified Novell® SUSE® or Red Hat® Linux® operating systems.

Altix ICE 8400 easily meets the needs of the world's largest supercomputing deployments. Recognized for its design win at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility at Ames Research Center, SGI helps Pleiades Supercomputer, the world's largest InfiniBand cluster, scale with an additional 32 cabinets of Altix ICE 8400 to nearly a petaflop. The system fully leverages SGI's hypercube topology to enable seamless cabinet-level upgrades without any production downtime, saving millions of core hours in the process

SGI has submitted a world record SPECmpiL_2007 result of 51.3 for Altix ICE 8400 on the SPEC MPI2007 benchmark. This eclipsed the previous record of 43.3 set by the SGI® Altix® ICE 8200 platform, and is a testament to the efficiency and scalability of Altix ICE when it comes to the MPI-driven workloads commonly found in HPC environments.


"We are excited to announce this radically differentiated server technology platform," said Dr. Eng Lim Goh, senior vice president and chief technology officer at SGI. "Our innovative technology will enable users to attain new levels of scalability and speed with groundbreaking performance capabilities, culminating in a petaflop in a cabinet."

The new platform was designed to drive performance to specifically address the growing science and engineering technical markets that rely on high-end software to achieve rapid results. It offers GPU processing capabilities from NVIDIA® and ATI, as well as accelerator-based technology from Tilera®, and other peripheral component interconnect express (PCIe) based solutions. The technology will be seen in SGI products by the end of 2010.


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