Massive SGI Systems Join Top 500 List

RENO, Nev., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Just months after its introduction by SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC), several new clusters incorporating the new SGI(R) Altix(R) ICE blade platform appear prominently on Top 500's latest ranking of the most powerful computers on Earth.

RENO, Nev., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Just months after its introduction by SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC), several new clusters incorporating the new SGI(R) Altix(R) ICE blade platform appear prominently on Top 500's latest ranking of the most powerful computers on Earth.

The Top 500 list was announced today at Supercomputing 2007. Among the latest entrants:

— A 14,336-core, 28TB SGI Altix ICE system, acquired by state of New Mexico for the New Mexico Computing Applications Center, earns the No. 3 spot on the Top 500 list. One of the world's largest systems dedicated to non-confidential projects, the new supercomputer is the largest Altix ICE system purchased to date, and will fuel scientific and engineering breakthroughs both for private industry and public research institutions. The acquisition is part of an economic growth initiative spearheaded by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. — At NASA Ames Research Center, a 4,096-core, 4TB SGI Altix ICE system was up and running in only eight days. Ranked No. 34 on the Top 500 list, the system serves NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, supporting research in fundamental aeronautics paving the way to transform America's air transportation system and to support the design of future air and space vehicles. — In just a day and a half, engineers at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) completed the initial installation of a 2,048-core, 4TB Altix ICE cluster. INL researchers will be using the system to run a range of applications such as computational actinide chemistry, Monte Carlo and deterministic radiation transport, computational fluid dynamics, subsurface flow modeling, and multiphysics modeling. The INL system is ranked No. 64 on the Top 500 list.

These multiple appearances by Altix ICE on the Top 500 list after only four months of availability are a testament to the "power up and go" architecture of Altix ICE. Fully integrated, factory tested, and pre-installed with a software stack featuring the SGI(R) Tempo management tool, SGI Altix ICE is built for fast deployment even for high-performance computing (HPC) installations that scale to thousands of processors. SGI innovations, including cable-free blade enclosures, integrated switches, and a high-performance interconnect architecture, all work together to help customers get their systems up and running quickly.

That advantage is crucial, since many so-called "white box" Linux(R) clusters can take months to deploy, a problem that can delay productive work and reduce an organization's return on its IT investment.

"It was impressive to see how quickly our SGI Altix ICE cluster was up and running," said Peter Cebull, HPC User Consultant, Idaho National Laboratory, which acquired a 2,048-core Altix ICE cluster through Federal Edge, Inc., an SGI value-added reseller. "Even though this new Altix ICE will provide four times the compute capability of the system it's replacing, it has been extremely easy to deploy and manage. We plan to leverage the ICE platform's integrated InfiniBand interconnect to scale our applications across more cores and achieve far more detailed simulations."

At No. 21, DOD's HAWK Deploys in Less than Five Weeks

Other major SGI(R) Altix(R) installations have seized prominent spots on the new Top 500 roster, including "HAWK," the largest and most powerful computer in the Department of Defense, which ranks 21st. The SGI(R) Altix(R) 4700 supercomputer is powered by 9,216 Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processor cores and features 20TB of globally addressable memory. It was successfully deployed ahead of schedule at the Aeronautical Systems Center Major Shared Resource Center (ASC MSRC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In less than five weeks from the date the last system arrived at ASC MSRC, engineers were running Linpack benchmarks across all processors.

"With many multimillion-dollar supercomputers staying technologically current for only three to five years, spending 10 to 20 percent of that time on just the start-up deployment process can be costly. Consequently, from scale-out clusters to shared-memory supercomputers, SGI has invested heavily in the development of rapidly deployable solutions," said Dr. Eng Lim Goh, SGI's senior vice president and chief technology officer. "It's one thing to throw thousands of processors at a problem, but it's something else entirely to deliver a solution that is productive within days, or even hours, after it rolls off the truck."

SGI Altix systems combine world-class performance with a space- and energy-efficient architecture that helps organizations reduce the impact of HPC systems on the data center. Innovations, including the use of highly efficient power supplies and SGI's third-generation water-cooled door options, can equate to significant savings for customers that face increasing energy and cooling costs. In a large deployment, these efficiencies can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in cost savings each year.

Now on Altix ICE: 45nm Quad-Core Xeon Processor

SGI today also announced that it is further enhancing the performance of its SGI Altix ICE blade platform with the next-generation 45nm Quad-Core Intel(R) Xeon(R) 5400 Series "Harpertown" Processor. Each SGI Altix ICE 8200 blade will support up to eight of the latest Xeon processor cores, pushing the platform to greater heights of price/performance, while maintaining the system's space and power efficiency, cooling capabilities, and ease of use.

The Top 500 list, published every June and November, is compiled by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Germany; and Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of NERSC/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The new list is available at http://www.top500.org/.

SGI | Innovation for Results(TM)

SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC) is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI delivers a broad range of high-performance server and storage solutions along with industry-leading professional services and support that enable its customers to overcome the challenges of complex data-intensive workflows and accelerate breakthrough discoveries, innovation and information transformation. SGI helps customers solve significant challenges, whether it's enhancing the quality of life through drug research, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate change, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and can be found on the Web at sgi.com.

SGI, Altix, the SGI cube and the SGI logo are registered trademarks of SGI in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in several countries. Intel, Xeon and Itanium are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

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