SGI Altix UV Supercomputer

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The World’s Fastest Supercomputer: SGI Altix UV
Nov. 16, 2009

Origin Of News Release: Fremont, CA
Original Release Date: Nov. 16, 2009
Announcement: SGI Announces World's Fastest Supercomputer
Availability: Now
MSRP: Currently Not Available

SGI Altix UV Expands the Definition of Supercomputing With Unmatched Scalability and Performance; On Display at Supercomputing 2009

SGI (NASDAQ: SGI), a global leader in HPC and data center solutions, today unveiled Altix UV, expanding the definition of supercomputing. SGI Altix UV is targeted at high-end supercomputing, very large-scale databases and data analytic environments. SGI Altix UV leverages next generation Intel Xeon x86 processors to deliver the fastest, most scalable shared memory supercomputer in the world. SGI Altix UV will be on display at Supercomputing 2009 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon, November 16-20, 2009, in booth #1721.

“Altix UV is expanding the definition of supercomputing to include HPC applications, very large-scale databases and data analytic environments,” said Mark J. Barrenechea, president and CEO of SGI. “Altix UV will allow our customers to think differently and solve problems they never thought solvable.”

Scalability and Performance Leadership

Altix UV enables scaling from 32 to 2,048 cores with architectural provisioning for up to 262,144 cores, while supporting up to 16 terabytes of global shared memory in a single system image (SSI). Superior performance is built into every SGI Altix UV system, leveraging SGI’s high speed 15GB per second interconnect NUMAlink 5 and MPI Offload Engine (MOE) acceleration.

Open Platform

Based on open standards, the system’s x86 architecture leverages quad-, six- or eight-core Intel Xeon processors, codenamed “Nehalem-EX.” This allows for the use of completely unmodified Novell SUSE or Red Hat Linux operating systems. Altix UV is ideal for open source, custom and commercial applications, ranging from technical computing applications like ANSYS FLUENT to enterprise applications like Oracle.

SGI makes deployment and management easy by integrating SGI ISLE as well as supporting third party and open source tools for performance and management optimization. Using ISLE, customers are able to manage compute environments of outstanding and varied capabilities from a single interface and intelligently schedule applications and operating systems images among the elements.

With its massive memory and I/O headroom, Altix UV will generate and manage huge amounts of data. This data can be seamlessly archived and retrieved on the SGI InfiniteStorage family of RAID, EBOD, SAN and NAS hardware products via the Total Control Suite, which includes DMF, CXFS and LiveSAN. Altix UV’s system expansion capabilities also allow it to support the latest graphics and GPU cards.

“Altix UV is a significant step forward for global shared memory, open architecture systems and is designed to provide compelling advantages in efficiently scaling up performance, especially for applications that are communications-intensive, I/O bound or memory bound,” said Earl Joseph, IDC program vice president for high performance computing. “Altix UV's many-core system development is impressive, even among SSI platforms, and will address a broad range of next generation HPC application requirements that exceed current scaling boundaries. Like its formidable SGI Altix predecessors, Altix UV is designed to be a supercomputing powerhouse.”

Altix UV is ideal for a full spectrum of HPC environments. Equally capable of running shared memory and distributed memory applications, Altix UV offers particularly high performance when it comes to I/O-bound and memory-bound applications such as in-memory and very large databases.

“In delivering Altix UV, SGI fulfills its long-term commitment to drive innovation that moves forward the boundaries of performance,” said Richard Dracott, general manager of high performance computing at Intel. “Altix UV will meaningfully transform high performance computing by drawing on large memory capacity, high core count and scalability of our new forthcoming Nehalem EX processors.”

Broad Industry Attention

Customers already adopting Altix UV include the University of Tennessee, the North German Supercomputing Alliance (HLRN), CALcul en MIdi-Pyrénées/Computations in Midi-Pyrénées (CALMIP) based at the University of Toulouse in France, and the Institute of Low Temperature Science at Hokkaido University in Japan. In addition to scientific research institutions, SGI has received multiple orders from leading Federal integrators, which speaks to the importance of Altix UV in the government sector.

“As a leading computing institution with the world's first academic petaflop, the University of Tennessee is challenged with the task of solving some of the nation's largest data understanding and visualization issues with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF),” said Sean Ahern, director of the Center for Remote Data Analysis and Visualization. “Our recently ordered Altix UV system promises to significantly enhance the capabilities of the NSF to 'see and understand' large volumes of data produced on the NSF's TeraGrid, thanks to Altix UV’s unique shared memory architecture.”

Altix UV Is Available In Two Models

Altix UV 1000 – For maximum scalability, Altix UV 1000 ships as a fully integrated cabinet-level solution with up to 256 sockets (2,048 cores) and 16TB of shared memory in four racks for up to 18.6 Tflops of performance.

Altix UV 100 – Altix UV 100 addresses the mid-range market based on an industry-standard 19” rackmount 3U form factor. This model scales to 96 sockets (768 cores) and 6TB of shared memory in two racks for up to 7.0 Tflops of performance.


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About SGI SGI is a global leader in large-scale clustered computing, high performance storage, HPC and data center enablement and services. SGI is focused on helping customers solve their most demanding business and technology challenges. Visit for more information.

© 2009 SGI. SGI, Altix, CXFS, ISLE, LiveSAN, NUMAlink and ProPack are registered trademarks or trademarks of Silicon Graphics International Corp. or its subsidiaries. All other trademarks are property of their respective holders.

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