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11/17/2009
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SGI Intros Supercomputer With Intel Nehalem EX

The SGI Altix UV high-performance computing system reaches 18.6 teraflop per second.

SGI's HPC System With Intel Nehalem EX
(click image for larger view)
SGI HPC System With Intel Nehalem EX
SGI has introduced a high-performance computing system that can leverage Intel's eight-core Xeon server processor, scheduled to ship early next year.

The SGI Altix UV, unveiled Monday at the SC09 supercomputer conference in Portland, Ore., is targeted at large-scale databases and data analytic environments. The system can combine Intel's highest core chip, codenamed Nehalem EX, with SGI's NUMAlink 5 interconnect to deliver its highest performance of 18.6 teraflop per second. A teraflop is a trillion calculations.

The shared memory supercomputer is based on a blade architecture and scales from 32 to 2,048 cores. The system supports up to 16 terabytes of memory and the NUMAlink interconnect delivers 15 GB per second of bandwidth between blades.

The Altix UV's x86 architecture enables it to run unmodified Novell SUSE or Red Hat Linux operating systems. SGI says the supercomputer is designed for running open source, custom, and commercial applications, ranging from technical applications like ANSYS FLUENT to enterprise applications like Oracle or SAP.

For storage, SGI offers the InfiniteStorage family of RAID, EBOD, storage area network, and network attached storage hardware products.

SGI has several customers committed to adopting Altix UV, including the Unversity of Tennessee, the North German Supercomputing Alliance, and the Institute of Low Temperature Science at Hokkaido University in Japan.

Altix UV will be available with Nehalem EX after the chips are available in volume in the first quarter of next year. The system, however, can also run on Intel's quad-core Xeon processors, as well as the six-core chips the company is expected to ship next year.

The Altix UV is available in two models. The 1000 model ships as a fully integrated cabinet-level product with up to 256 sockets and 16 TB of shared memory in four racks for up to 18.6 teraflop/s of performance. The 100 model, which is targeted at the mid-range of the market, is a 19-inch rackmount 3U server. The system scales up to 96 sockets and 6 TB of shared memory in two racks for up to 7 teraflop/s of performance.

Pricing and availability is available upon request.

SGI was acquired this year by server maker Rackable Systems for $25 million. Rackable has adopted the SGI name.

SGI also sells two servers based on Intel's Itanium Series 9000 processors. The Altix 450 is for the mid-range market and the Altix 4700 is a supercomputer that offers 512 sockets.


InformationWeek Analytics has published an analysis of the current state of mainframes. Download the report here (registration required).

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