With a single computer acquisition from SGI (OTC: SGID), the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) has instantly become one of the world’s leading technology resources for industry, government, and research institutions.
LITE recently installed a massive computing component to its already world-leading SGI-powered visualization capabilities with the purchase of a 160-processor SGI Altix 4700 supercomputer with 4.1 trillion bytes (or terabytes) of memory.
While some other supercomputers have more processors, the LITE system is unusual because of the amount of memory that it makes available to solve the sophisticated problems faced by environmental scientists, pharmaceutical researchers, automakers, energy companies, and intelligence agencies. More memory means even large problems can be solved faster, because the system doesn’t have to split up large models or data sets to compute them piece by piece.
In fact, the new LITE system is one of the world’s largest shared-memory computers available to the private sector, commercial users and research institutions. To match the memory of the new LITE system would require researchers to link 4,198 desktop systems, each equipped with 1 Gigabyte of memory. But unlike a series of daisy-chained smaller computers, the LITE system operates as an enormous, single computing resource that can easily apply its entire 4.1 terabytes of RAM as a single shared memory. The system can apply its memory to one massive problem or several major problems at once.
The new LITE system is capable of tackling even the largest computing problems, such as seismic analysis models used for energy exploration, real-time impact simulations vital to safe automobile design, and analysis of geospatial satellite imagery used for weather-related disaster preparedness and national security.
"With this latest acquisition, LITE is uniquely positioned to help our varied user communities benefit from the integration of visualization and supercomputing," said Dr. Carolina Cruz, executive director and chief scientist at LITE and world-renowned pioneer of visualization technologies. "When working with large-scale, real-word data sets, users often have to subject their data to sophisticated compute algorithms before their project is ready to visualize. With our new system, users can compute and visualize the results of those computations as they are taking place. This new SGI Altix 4700 system is an ideal engine to LITE’s vast SGI visualization resources, and it should serve as a prized resource for users throughout Louisiana and the United States."
"With the addition of this massive 4.1 Terabyte SGI Altix supercomputer, LITE has been catapulted to the highest echelons of computing centers," said Dr. Eng Lim Goh, chief technology officer, SGI. "Yet unlike these facilities, LITE is not restricted to assisting researchers and academia alone. For corporations and innovators developing breakthrough products, technologies or processes that will address the challenges we will all face in the coming decades, LITE is truly a national treasure."
"With today’s announcement, the world can conclude with confidence that despite the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the great State of Louisiana is advancing to the forefront of technology use as an economic development driver. Lafayette is quickly becoming a vanguard community in the technology world," said Gregg Gothreaux, president and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. "It’s exciting indeed to see LITE bolster its already impressive technology resources with a massive, shared-memory SGI Altix supercomputer. This addition will serve as a vital platform for new discoveries, innovations and insights for corporations and research communities located throughout Louisiana and beyond; it will also facilitate the development of products and new job creation, which is the exact reason LITE was developed in the first place — economic development."
Anchoring the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Technology Research Park, the $27 million, 70,000-square-foot LITE complex features one of the most comprehensive and tightly integrated installations of SGI technology ever assembled. LITE’s immense storehouse of SGI technology will include a digital 3D immersive visualization cube, a 174-seat visualization theatre, an immersive collaboration video tele-conference room, a network of SGI® Altix® 350 systems powered by 352 processors, and an 8TB SGI® InfiniteStorage Storage Area Network.
LITE’s technology platform was acquired and deployed with guidance and support from James River Technical (JRT), a leading provider of high-performance computing solutions to the academic, government and commercial markets. "JRT is proud to be an important part of the evolution of LITE — a facility that is unique in its mission to make state-of-the-art HPC technology available to a wide array of users while creating an economic engine for Lafayette Parish and the State of Louisiana," said Tom Mountcastle, president, James River Technical. "The capabilities of this facility promise to make a significant difference at every level of research — from local business to national institutions and global enterprises."
The LITE facility, a partnership between the State of Louisiana, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Lafayette Economic Authority (LEDA), creates an environment designed to stimulate collaboration between technology-intensive companies, ventures and entrepreneurs, researchers at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and other state and national universities, as well as federal government agencies. LITE involves partnerships between government, universities, and industry for basic research, application development, testing and validation, product development, and commercial production, along with delivery of visualization technologies and high-performance computer modeling.