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    Latest News

    SGI Supports up to 256 Processors on SGI Altix Systems Running on Single Linux Kernel
    Wednesday March 10 2004 @ 10:57AM EST

    MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 10 - In an industry first, Silicon Graphics today announced the worldwide availability of SGI(R) Altix(R) systems running up to 256 Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processors within a single instance of the Linux(R) operating system. The record-breaking accomplishment is the end result of an international Altix beta program originally targeted to achieve just half the scalability of today's 256-processor milestone. With a commitment to continually support the market growth and scalability of Linux, SGI Altix systems are eclipsing the capabilities of competing systems from HP, IBM, and Sun while maintaining leadership performance on industry-standard benchmarks and customer applications.

    Large-scale computational problems, such as those pursued by researchers and engineers in manufacturing, earth sciences, aerospace, life sciences, homeland security, and oil and gas exploration, often benefit from operating within a single system image (SSI). Coupled with the powerful SGI(R) NUMAflex(TM) architecture, Altix systems configured with hundreds of processors and terabytes of shared-memory can tackle problems on a "tera-scale" level, simplifying the programming environment. Large-scale Altix systems enable high-performance computing (HPC) innovators to analyze data sets as whole entities, dramatically accelerating complex calculations. As a result, commercial customers can significantly reduce their time to market for new products, and researchers can trim their time to discovery.

    Anticipating demand for even more powerful Altix systems, SGI also announced year-end plans to scale Linux to 512 processors in an SSI, a capability already proven by the recent technology demonstration of the world's largest Linux SSI at NASA Ames Research Center. In November 2003, the NASA facility unveiled the system for use in ocean simulation and other research. "NASA's use of supercomputers like the NASA Ames 512-processor Altix system is vital in our modeling of global climate change and scientific research. As computing technologies advance, we are achieving insights into climate change faster and more efficiently, helping us to better understand and protect our home planet," said Dr. Ghassem Asrar, Associate Administrator, NASA Earth Science Enterprise.

    Key to enabling support for 256-processor Altix systems is the recently released SGI Advanced Linux(TM) Environment with SGI ProPack(TM) 2.4. Now available for new and existing SGI(R) Altix(R) 3000 and SGI(R) Altix(R) 350 customers, SGI ProPack 2.4 boasts record-setting SSI scalability and adds asynchronous I/O, the Vitesse SATA driver, and diskless booting of partitioned systems. Also included are new versions of MPT (message passing toolkit) and SCSL (science and math libraries) which includes new support for ScaLAPACK.

    Altix Continues Performance Leadership

    Along with its continuous achievements in Altix, Intel Itanium 2 and Linux scalability, SGI recently posted yet another round of leading results on industry standard HPC benchmarks. In tests whose results were reported Feb. 23, an SGI Altix 3000 system (running an 1.5 GHz Intel Itanium 2 processor) recorded Linpack 100x100 benchmark results of 1659 MFLOPS, which outpaced the closest competitor, an HP Integrity Server rx2600 running the same processor and scoring 1635 MFLOPS. In Linpack 1000x1000 tests, the SGI Altix system delivered the highest score of any single-processor, 1.5 GHz Itanium 2-based system: 5400 MFLOPS, versus 5303 from HP. Linpack is a collection of Fortran subroutines that analyze and solve linear equations and linear least-squares problems. For details on the latest Linpack results, visit: http://www.netlib.org/benchmark/performance.ps .

    The dominance in Linpack results follows on the SGI Altix system's already recognized performance leadership. In November, SGI Altix made history by breaking the 1 terabyte/second barrier on the STREAM Triad benchmark, an industry standard measurement of memory bandwidth. The world record result highlights the way in which the SGI NUMAflex shared-memory architecture enables Altix servers and superclusters to deliver the highest Triad bandwidth of any system in the world, including scalar and vector systems from IBM, HP, Cray, NEC and Sun. (1)

    SGI Altix continues to excel in other performance metrics, including SPECfp_rate2000, which measures compute-intensive floating point throughput. In systems driven by 64 or more processors, SGI Altix outpaces similarly configured systems from HP, Sun, and Fujitsu. An Altix system running 64, 1.5 GHz Intel Itanium 2 processors performed more than 35 percent better than an HP Integrity Superdome server with 64 Intel Itanium 2 processors at 1.5 GHz. (2)

    Availability

    Scalable SGI Altix 3000 systems are available today in server configurations of 4 to 256 processors, and supercluster configurations of 4 to 512 processors. For customers demanding even larger Altix systems, SGI plans to support supercluster configurations of 1,024 processors in May 2004 and larger over time, and SSI configurations of 512 processors by the end of 2004. Additional Altix system technical and availability information is posted on http://www.sgi.com/servers/altix .

    This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding SGI technologies and third-party technologies that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. The viewer is cautioned not to rely unduly on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future or current performance. Such risks and uncertainties include long-term program commitments, the performance of third parties, the sustained performance of current and future products, financing risks, the impact of competitive markets, the ability to integrate and support a complex technology solution involving multiple providers and users, the acceptance of applicable technologies by markets and customers, and other risks detailed from time to time in the company's most recent SEC reports, including its reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q.

    Silicon Graphics - The Source of Innovation and Discovery(TM)

    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 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 .

    NOTE: Silicon Graphics, SGI, Altix, the SGI logo and the SGI cube are registered trademarks and NUMAflex, SGI Advanced Linux, SGI ProPack and The Source of Innovation and Discovery are trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. Intel and Itanium are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in several countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

    (1) SGI Altix ranks the highest among all posted systems in the STREAM Triad Top 20 list of shared-memory systems. The closest performing systems from listed competitors are:

    -- NEC_SX-7 with STREAM Triad score of 872259.1 Mb/sec
    -- HP_AlphaServer_GS1280 with STREAM Triad score of 377727.8 Mb/sec
    -- Cray_T932_321024-3E with STREAM Triad score of 359270.0 Mb/sec
    -- IBM_eServer_p690+ with STREAM Triad score of 58891.0 Mb/sec
    -- Sun_F15K with STREAM Triad score of 50724.3 Mb/sec

    Details on all STREAM Triad results are available at http://www.cs.virginia.edu/stream/top20/Bandwidth.html .

    2) SGI Altix ranks the highest among all posted systems in the SPECfp_rate2000 benchmark. Following is a comparison of Altix and the closest performing systems from listed competitors, as of March 1, 2004:

    -- SGI Altix 3000 (64, 1.5 GHz Intel Itanium 2 and 128GB of system memory): 1257
    -- HP Integrity Superdome (64, 1.5 GHz Intel Itanium 2 and 256GB of system memory): 928
    -- Sun Fire 15K (72, 1.2 GHz UltraSPARC Cu with 576GB of system memory): 717
    -- Fujitsu PrimePower 800/1000/2000 (64, 788 MHz SPARC64 GP and 16GB of system memory): 329

    Details on all SPECfp_rate2000 results are available at: http://www.spec.org/cpu2000/results/rfp2000.html .


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