With Five SGI Supercomputers in Roster’s Top 50, SGI Systems Continue to Drive Revolutionary Science at Real-World Customer Sites
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (June 21, 2005) Silicon Graphics today announced that the world’s third fastest supercomputer is an SGI Altix system as noted on the 25th edition of the Top500 list of the worlds’ most powerful computers. In addition, five of SGI systems are ranked in the top 10 percent of the world’s fastest supercomputers.
The new systems – all of which are fully operational at customer sites and serve as resources for scientists and researchers – join NASA’s No. 3-ranked Columbia supercomputer, named in honor of the space shuttle crew lost in February of 2003. The five SGI Altix systems, including four new systems listed in the elite top 50, all powered by Intel Itanium 2 processors and supporting a robust 64-bit Linux operating environment, are:
* NASA Columbia. Crucial to NASA’s efforts to return America safely to space, the 10,256-processor Columbia SGI Altix supercomputer repeatedly has broken performance records as researchers study the effects of climate change on the world’s oceans, the impact of solar weather on communication satellites, and the formation of the Milky Way.
* Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI) core computation system. JAERI’s 2,048-processor SGI Altix supercomputer is allowing energy researchers to meet rapid increases in computation demand by large-scale simulation research in the areas of nuclear energy and nuclear fusion. The JAERI system incorporates 13 terabytes (TB) of memory, the world’s largest for a single system.
* Eagle Supercomputer at Aeronautical Systems Center’s Major Shared Resource Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The Defense Department’s most powerful computer, Eagle is helping the United States military maintain its technological supremacy over its adversaries in weapon systems design. With 2,048 processors and 2TB of memory, the Altix supercomputer is helping to: aid weapon systems design of innovative materials; advance design concepts; improve and speed modification programs; increase high fidelity simulations; and enable more efficient tests and evaluations.
* Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing (APAC) National Facility supercomputer. A 1,680-processor Altix supercomputer is enabling APAC researchers to, among other things, gauge global warming trends by modeling sea-ice interchanges in Antarctica, and assist in the fight against terrorism by predicting 3D fluid flows for developing novel bioreactors.
* National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Cobalt. The largest shared memory machine in the National Science Foundation system and the largest SMP system to be part of the TeraGrid network, Cobalt incorporates 1,024 processors, 3TB of globally accessible memory, and SGI visualization and storage solutions. NCSA’s many scientific projects include very large simulations of severe storms.
“While it’s exciting to see these high-profile in production SGI customers ranked in the leading 10 percent of the Top500 list, it’s even more gratifying to appreciate the important work that takes place daily at each of these sites,” said Dave Parry, senior vice president, SGI. “These are real-world systems enabling scientists and researchers tackle the world’s toughest challenges, from the future of our environment and energy resources, to national and global security.”
The latest Top500 list spotlights the brisk momentum of rapidly deployable supercomputing systems based on Intel Itanium 2 processors and industry-standard implementations of 64-bit Linux. SGI Altix incorporates these powerful components and enhances them further with the SGI NUMAflex™ architecture. This unique shared-memory architecture enables researchers to hold large data sets entirely in memory, allowing for faster and more interactive data analysis, and resulting in more incisive conclusions. Since its introduction these capabilities and an open computing model have drawn users in a wide range of markets to solutions based on the Altix family. For example, eight of the world’s top 10 auto manufacturers and eight of the top 10 defense and aerospace suppliers rely on Altix systems to drive complex high-performance-computing applications.
SGI systems featuring NUMAflex also led the Top500 list in Linpack benchmark efficiency. These systems incorporate SGI NUMAlink interconnect technology—the industry’s fastest at 6.4GB/second and less than 1 microsecond MPI latency—achieved 90.3 percent efficiency, a 16 percent increase over the nearest competitors outlined in the Top500 list. This is significantly greater than systems built with any other common interconnect technology.
The new TOP500 list can be found on the Web at http://www.top500.org/ .
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SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc., is the world's leader in high-performance computing, visualization and storage. SGI's vision is to provide technology that enables the most significant scientific and creative breakthroughs of the 21st century. Whether it's sharing images to aid in brain surgery, finding oil more efficiently, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense or enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, SGI is dedicated to addressing the next class of challenges for scientific, engineering and creative users. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at http://www.sgi.com .