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SGI's old-school supercomputer now revved up

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MessagePosté le: Mar 12 Oct - 07:17 (2010)    Sujet du message: SGI's old-school supercomputer now revved up Répondre en citant

Severalcheapest ffxiv Gil SGI

Altix UV chassis can be interconnected to share as much as 16 terabytes of memory.

(Credit: Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center) These days, the Top500 list of the world's most

powerful supercomputers is dominated by cluster designs assembled from many independent

computing nodes. But there's still a place in the world for an earlier approach, as

evidenced by a new machine called Blacklight at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

Blacklight is a mammoth $2.8 million shared-memory machine built by SGI for the center. The

system comes in two halves, each with 16 terabytes of shared memory. Either half would be

the largest such amount of memory so far built, PSC said, and with a bit more programming

effort, the two halves can communicate to work together.

The system now is in operation, the center announced today, and is being used for research

into language processing, software security, molecular biology, genetics, fluid dynamics,

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physics of the early universe, and seismology.

A shared-memory design means that each processor has direct access to the entire memory, a

feature that eases programming since data doesn't have to be requested indirectly from

other processors.

SGI is a venerable name in high-performance computing, but the company was buffeted by the

arrival of mainstream technology that could match its highly specialized equipment. Its

MIPS processor and Irix version of Unix gradually lost out to Intel and AMD processors and

to the Linux operating system. In 2009 hardware upstart Rackable bought SGI and adopted its

name and stock ticker.

SGI was a big fan of Intel's Itanium processor family, but there's more to high-performance

computing these days. Its Altix 450 and 4700 designs use the Itanium processors, but the

Pittsburgh center opted for the Altix UV1000 design with the "Nehalem" model of Intel's 64

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processors officially called the Xeon 7500 chips.

Specifically, the system has 512 of these eight-core processors, for a total of 4,096

processor cores. The systems are mounted as blade servers in a standard rack cabinet about

6 feet tall. 
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