Blade-Based Design Foreshadows the Future of High-Performance Computing With Multi-Paradigm Computing
SC|05 - SEATTLE (Nov. 14 2005)—Combining industry-standard components and the world's most powerful server architecture in a highly dense and deployable form factor, Silicon Graphics (OTC: SGID) today unveiled a complete redesign of its flagship Altix line with the SGI® Altix® 4000 platform. Capable of tailoring hardware to application needs, Altix 4000 is poised to serve as the foundation of the future of high-performance computing.
SGI has integrated its renowned scalable shared-memory SGI® NUMAflex™ architecture with blade packaging to provide a platform with total flexibility, fine-grained modularity, high density and excellent serviceability. The resulting Altix 4000 is the first 64-bit Linux® server with a blade design that offers true "plug and solve" flexibility. Users can readily configure any combination of blades - including multiple types of both standard and configurable compute as well as, memory, I/O and graphics - as their needs change. The result is a flexible, scalable and space-efficient solution delivering price/performance¹ that easily eclipses high-end servers from IBM, HP, Cray and Sun.
The Altix 4000 incorporates the very technologies and features that will take high-performance computing (HPC) into the coming decade. The Altix 4000 tightly integrates standard implementations of Linux from Novell and Red Hat with SGI's acclaimed visualization and new FPGA-based SGI® Reconfigurable Application Specific Computing (RASC™) technologies. And, Altix 4000 compute blades provide socket compatibility for today's fastest Intel® Itanium® 2 processors and forthcoming² multi-core Itanium processors.
Space- and cost-efficient, SGI Altix 4000 servers are designed for HPC and database users in technical, scientific and data-intensive commercial markets, including manufacturing, life sciences, energy, research and homeland security. With the Altix 4000, SGI is targeting markets in which customers are looking to make the most of their technology spending budgets while delivering breakthrough results. Already customers³ have ordered nearly $70 million (U.S.) in SGI solutions based largely on Altix 4000 systems.
"Time-to-market, cost control, and product reliability are critical in a world where manufacturers compete globally," said Dr. Reza Sadeghi, vice president, product development, MSC.Software Corp. "To address these challenges, MSC.Software in collaboration with SGI and Intel developed an integrated solution to streamline the collaborative deployment of virtual product development. The functionality and flexibility of the new Altix platform greatly enhances the power of this solution, enabling MSC users to get their products to market faster. We see tremendous potential with the performance of the SGI Altix 4000, the new blade design, and its ability to support various parallel computing models."
"With Altix 4000, SGI continues to drive its high-end computing leadership into new, efficient form factors that will accelerate productivity and reduce time-to-discovery for more customers in more markets," said Dave Parry, senior vice president and general manager, Server and Platform Group, SGI. "While it's exciting enough to see what these new blade systems are capable of addressing in today's most demanding work, the Altix 4000 makes SGI's vision for multi-paradigm computing real."
New technologies enable multi-paradigm computing
With Altix 4000, SGI's vision for multi-paradigm computing is real. A concept pioneered by SGI, multi-paradigm computing enables a single system architecture to meet the needs of a wide array of applications. By uniting previously disparate computing architectures with SGI's scalable shared-memory architecture, the company aims to improve productivity by creating the first supercomputers capable of supporting and combining different computational approaches.
A key component of this is SGI's Reconfigurable Application-Specific Computing (RASC) technology, which enables users to achieve unmatched performance, scalability and bandwidth for data-intensive applications critical to oil and gas exploration, defense and intelligence, bioinformatics, medical imaging, broadcast media, and other data-dependent industries.
By tightly integrating RASC technology within the Altix 4000 blade platform via peer I/O technology, SGI customers can vastly improve the performance of applications either hampered by their inability to scale or bound by slow routines that take the majority of CPU cycles. Features like RASC will grow ever more crucial as processor and Linux scalability reach their practical limits. The I/O and RASC technologies will also support next-generation performance breakthroughs in visualization, further protecting customer investments in SGI blade technology.
Altix is a truly differentiated platform for running the full suite of SAP® solutions, which has been certified by the SAP LinuxLab for usage on the Intel Itanium on Linux. Today's customers demand a platform that is scalable and flexible enough to power the real-time enterprise. They also insist on an open standards-based infrastructure to minimize total cost of ownership. Because of its unique system architecture, Altix can scale system resources on demand to tackle the most advanced and demanding SAP solution-based environments.
SGI is a new member of the SAP LinuxLab. Developers of SGI and other SAP partners are working together at the lab to bring the best Linux experience to the enterprise environments of customers.
To balance the performance needs and space constraints of HPC customers, SGI designed the Altix 4000 blades as standardized units that can be deployed in a small-footprint rack, up to 40 blades in a compact 2-foot by 3.5-foot rack up to 160 Itanium cores for nearly 1 Teraflop of performance in only eight square feet. And in a server market hobbled by some vendors' outdated devotion to costly proprietary UNIX® environments, Altix 4000 continues the SGI Altix family's support for industry-standard Linux implementations, including Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Software and standard Red Hat® Enterprise Linux®. Altix 4000 also supports complete data management and visualization solutions and is the industry's most efficient platform for cluster applications.
SILICON GRAPHICS | The Source of Innovation and Discovery
SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc. (OTC: SGID), is a 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