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SGI Packs the Power of Supercomputing Into a Single Blade
Posted by Kenneth Farmer, Thursday March 16 2006 @ 09:48AM EST

With New SGI RASC RC100 Blade, Key Applications See Performance Boosts Surpassing 100x Without Cost of CPU Scale-Out

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 15 -- Silicon Graphics (OTC: SGID - News) today unveiled a groundbreaking solution that packs the power of dozens of supercomputer nodes into a single blade by leveraging the inherent parallelism of the industry's most powerful Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology. The new SGI® RASC(TM) RC100 computation blade, built with dual Xilinx Virtex(TM) 4 FPGAs, can accelerate the performance of many HPC applications by orders of magnitude over conventional systems at a far lower cost and much smaller footprint.

Based on SGI's groundbreaking RASC (Reconfigurable Application-Specific Computing) technology, the new RC100 blade is designed for customers whose applications spend most of their time working on a set of specific routines or algorithms. By accelerating those routines, RASC technology can dramatically improve the performance of the overall application.

Designed for use with award-winning SGI® Altix® servers, SGI RASC RC100 blade can be programmed at the customer's site to accelerate mission-critical, high-performance computing (HPC) applications in oil and gas exploration, defense and intelligence, bioinformatics, medical imaging, and broadcast media.

"With certain codes that our researchers run, application performance often boils down to efficiently executing a relatively small set of algorithms again and again," said Warren J. Gross, Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, McGill University in Montreal. "SGI's RASC RC100 Blade solution offers a compelling option for accelerating those very types of algorithms. With SGI RASC, we can also fully leverage the Altix platform's shared-memory architecture, which is crucial for working with large databases."

"FPGA technology offers significant computation, I/0 and memory bandwidth advantages over traditional CPU-only solutions," said Ron Renwick, manager, configurable computing, SGI. "HPC users now can take advantage of an FPGA solution built on the award-winning SGI Altix platform that has revolutionized 64-bit Linux computing. With the RC100 blade, the true power of SGI Altix and Xilinx Virtex 4 FPGA technology can be laser-focused on solving a large set of algorithmic-intensive applications-all resulting in tremendous cost benefits to SGI customers."

To deliver orders-of-magnitude performance improvements for customers in a wide range of markets, the SGI RC100 blade leverages the SGI Altix system's acclaimed high-bandwidth and shared-memory architecture to create a unique, cost-efficient solution that overcomes the limitations of other FPGA-based products. For instance, the 6.4GB/second SGI NUMAlink(TM) 4 interconnect accelerates memory access, offering more than three times the performance of with PCI and PCI-X bus ports and well outpacing the interconnect technologies supported by companies such as Cray.

A robust RASC solution stack incorporates fully integrated third-party high-level language (HLL) development tools, including Handel-C and DK Design Suite from Celoxica and Mitrion-C from Mitrionics, Inc. Along with third-party libraries and tools, SGI provides core services, including a RASC aware version of Gnu Debugger and a RASC API, to ease the process for users who are incorporating RASC RC100 blades as a seamless part of their SGI Altix servers.

Available as a blade or add-in module for existing Altix servers

SGI RASC technology is available today in two base configurations designed to meet the broadest customer needs.

-- The RC100 blade is powered by dual Xilinx Virtex 4 LX200 FPGAs, 80MB QDR SRAM (with up to 20GB DDR2 SDRAM optional starting in June) and dual NUMAlink 4 ports. The RC100 blade is plug-and-play installable on SGI® Altix® 4000 servers.

-- For non-blade architecture systems, a chassis with two blade slots is available that allows users to install RC100 blades on SGI® Altix® 3700 Bx2 and Altix® 350 servers.

For pricing and other information, contact SGI or visit http://www.sgi.com/products/rasc .

SILICON GRAPHICS | The Source of Innovation and Discovery

SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc., is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI helps customers solve their computing challenges, whether it's sharing images to aid in brain surgery, finding oil more efficiently, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at http://www.sgi.com .

< Re-defining microprocessors: Q&A with AMD’s Henri Richard | Fortuitous Technologies Announces Unix and Performance Curriculum >


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Cluster Monkey

Golden Eggs
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CP4000 32x DL145G2 GigE Opteron, Dual Core
CP4000 64x DL145 GigE Opteron
CP4000 102x DL145 GigE Opteron
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Rocks Cluster 16-22 DL145 Opteron
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Rocks Cluster 64-84 DL145 Opteron
LC3000 GigaE 24-36 DL145 Opteron
LC3000 Myri 16-32x DL145 Opteron
LC3000 GigaE 16-22x DL145 Opteron
LC2000 GigaE 16-22x DL360G3 Xeon
> DL365 System 2600Mhz 2P 1U Opteron Dual Core
DL360 G5 System 3000Mhz 2P 1U EM64T Dual/Quad Core
DL385 G2 2600Mhz 2P Opteron Dual Core
DL380 G5 3000Mhz 2P EM64T Dual/Quad Core
DL140 3060MHz 2P IA32
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DL145 2600MHz 2P Opteron
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DL360 G4 3400MHz 2P EM64T
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DL385 2800MHz 2P Opteron Dual Core
DL560 3000MHz 4P IA32
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DL585 2800MHz 4P Opteron Dual Core
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rx2660 1600MHz 2P 2U Montecito Systems and Cluster
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rx2620 1600MHz 2P 2U Single & Cluster
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rx4640 1600MHz 4P MSA1000 Cluster IA64
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MSA1500 48TB, SCSI and SATA
Dual Core AMD64 and EM64T systems with MSA1500

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Unlocking the Value of IT with Appro HyperBlade:
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AMD Opteron-based products | Intel Xeon-based products

Hewlett-Packard: Linux High Performance Computing Whitepapers
Unified Cluster Portfolio:
A comprehensive, modular package of tested and pre-configured hardware, software and services for scalable computation, data management and visualization.

Your Fast Track to Cluster Deployment:
Designed to enable faster ordering and configuration, shorter delivery times and increased savings. Customers can select from a menu of popular cluster components, which are then factory assembled into pre-defined configurations with optional software installation.
Message Passing Interface library (HP-MPI):
A high performance and production quality implementation of the Message-Passing Interface (MPI) standard for HP servers and workstations.

Cluster Platform Express:
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