Leibniz Rechenzentrum Computing Center to Accelerate Computing Capacity Thirty-Fold with New High-Density Altix Systems and SGI Storage
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., (December 16, 2004)—After searching the world over for the most powerful computing technology, the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BAdW) has selected the latest generation of SGI® Altix® systems from Silicon Graphics (NYSE:SGI) to power Germany's new national supercomputing system. The new system, which eventually will incorporate 3,328 dual-core Intel® Itanium® 2 processors, will be capable of generating 69 trillion calculations per second of performance, effectively boosting the computing capacity at Germany's Leibniz Computing Center (LRZ) 30-fold. LRZ, the BAdw computing center, also will deploy a 660-terabyte SGI® InfiniteStorage solution to accommodate its rapidly growing stockpile of scientific of data.
"With this powerful technology, we can meet the needs of researchers from throughout Germany as they pursue breakthroughs in physics and astrophysics, materials research, fluid dynamics, chemistry, geosciences and biological sciences," Dr. Heinz-Gerd Hegering, chairman, board of directors, LRZ. "The new SGI Altix deployment will also give LRZ one of the world's largest shared-memory systems, one we hope will attract leading-edge life scientists and other users whose escalating simulation demands can't be met by traditional clusters or servers."
In early 2006, SGI will begin installation of the SGI Altix system, which will feature 40 terabytes of globally addressable memory and will be integrated with 660 terabytes of storage. Named "Höchstleistungsrechner in Bayern" (HLRB-II), the new system will replace LRZ's existing Hitachi SR8000 system, which runs more than 200 projects requiring top performance from scientists and researchers from all over Germany. The system will be upgraded to its final configuration in 2007.
Once deployed, the new system will serve as a platform for researchers leading the investigation of turbulence, flow through porous media, the interaction of flows and deformable structures, the generation and propagation of acoustic waves, high temperature superconductivity, the investigation of materials exhibiting memory effects with regard to their form, the analysis of chemical reactions involved in combustion and catalysis processes, and the propagation of seismic waves and earthquakes.
After benchmarking several competing systems, the LRZ concluded that SGI Altix will provide the best sustained performance while running the facility's day-to-day application mix. LRZ concluded that the Altix architecture's global shared-memory design presented an enormous advantage in dealing with complex computational problems. They also aim to leverage the new system's ability to be variably partitioned into multiple virtual computing nodes. "Altix makes it much easier to program parallel processing codes, which means more users can be much more productive on the system than ever before possible," said Hegering. "Flexibility and ease of operation were very important in our selection process."
The German government and the state of Bavaria will share funding for the HLRB-II project, which was awarded to SGI after an international competition.
As one of three top computing facilities in Germany, LRZ views the new HLRB-II system as a key differentiator. "LRZ is making considerable efforts to provide the academic communities within Germany as well as Europe with top-level performance computing services," said Hegering. "This applies to the every day productivity within all areas of science from bio-chemistry to medicine and physics, but also to research within supercomputing technology itself. The SGI Altix system will enable us to play our part in the innovation age."
SGI will also supply LRZ with a 128-processor SGI Altix system equipped with 512GB of memory and connected to an 11-terabyte SGI InfiniteStorage solution. This additional system will replace a Fujitsu Siemens vector system when it is installed in early 2005. The 128-processor Altix and storage combination will be primarily dedicated for use in computational chemistry, computational physics and computational fluid dynamics.
"Around the world, customers have embraced Altix as the foundation for a new era of cost-effective and deployable supercomputing environments that provide the performance and usability necessary to drive new science," said Dave Parry, senior vice president and general manager, Server and Platform Group, SGI. "We are proud that LRZ has selected SGI Altix and InfiniteStorage solutions to fuel innovation for the German research community."
"Just a few months after congratulating SGI on building Project Columbia with NASA, the number two supercomputer in the world, we are now very excited about this significant, large scale multi core project in Munich," said Abhi Talwalkar, vice president and general manager, Enterprise Platforms Group, Intel. "SGI with Intel's support is yet again pushing the limits of Itanium, not only in terms of overall speed but also in integrating thousands of processors within one single big shared-memory node."
The aggregate revenue to SGI for hardware and services under the contract is anticipated to be in excess of $50 million, the bulk of which will not be recognized until 2007.
Scaling to 1,024 Itanium 2 processors in a single shared-memory system, the latest model of the Altix 3000 family leverages the powerful SGI® NUMAflex™ global shared-memory architecture to derive maximum application performance from new high-density CPU bricks. The new configuration also doubles available bandwidth between Altix racks with SGI's NUMAlink™ 4 interconnect technology - the industry's fastest at 6.4GB/sec.