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November 15, 2010
Customers can deploy tens of petaflops with the ease of an x86 platform
FREMONT, Calif., Nov. 15 -- SGI, a trusted leader in technical computing, today announced the introduction of SGI Prism XL, a breakthrough new product for accelerator-based high performance computing (HPC). SGI Prism XL was purpose-built to fully leverage the scale and speed of accelerators, enabling customers to scale to tens of petaflops or large teraflop range. SGI also announced today SGI STIX architecture, the basic building block for SGI Prism XL. SGI STIX architecture moves beyond the blade to a 'stick' form factor while accelerating the pace of computing towards the exascale range.
SGI Prism XL boasts extreme density. Whereas x86 processors may require up to a hundred cabinets to deliver a petaflop of computing performance, SGI Prism XL delivers similar performance and scale in a single cabinet, and a 20 petaflop double precision deployment can be achieved in as few as 100 cabinets. This represents a 100-to-1 reduction in facility floor space and up to a 30 percent reduction in overall total cost of ownership.
"SGI Prism XL will enable customers to exploit the power of accelerators. With today's announcement, we have completed our compute line of architectures: scale-out with Rackable and Altix ICE, scale-up with Altix UV, and accelerators with SGI Prism XL," said Mark J. Barrenechea, SGI CEO. "Technical computing applications require more scale and speed than business applications, and SGI Prism XL will enable a new generation of accelerator-based applications, and allow customers to attain levels of scalability and speed never before possible."
Prism XL's open and scalable platform is built on SGI's new STIX architecture, which is based on a leading PCIe infrastructure for accelerator deployment. Supporting the latest accelerator cards from NVIDIA, AMD and Tilera, and up to a 300W PCIe card, STIX architecture is accelerator-agnostic, providing users with new levels of flexibility to support the wave of accelerator and 'system on a chip' (SoC) options anticipated in the near future.
Within the STIX architecture framework, Prism XL uses a 'stick' as the integral unit, with each stick containing two 'slices' of a full-length, full-height PCIe gen 2 x 16 slot and a single-socket AMD 4100-powered motherboard. Each slice contains up to two 2.5 inch SATA drives and two 1.8 inch SSDs, which allows up to 4 terabytes of storage on a single stick. Uniquely modular, STIX architecture also contains built-in fans and auto-sensing power supplies to detect changes and keep the unit operating in almost any environment.
"Innovations such as Prism XL continue to set SGI apart," said Steve Conway, research vice president, high performance computing at IDC. "SGI continues to exploit its deep HPC experience to create advanced, differentiated platforms that provide customers with new levels of technical computing capability. IDC expects SGI will continue to make important contributions in the battle to make multi-petaflop and exaflop systems more productive for end-users."
Accelerator computing can generate tremendous amounts of data; exchanging and collaborating on that data across a large system often necessitates a rich networking fabric. Each Prism XL slice contains a PCIe gen 2 x 8 slot for various interconnect options. Single-port or dual-port Mellanox ConnectX-2 cards are supported at first release, allowing up to two full bandwidth, fat-tree planes of 40 Gb/s InfiniBand.
"Heterogeneous platforms like SGI Prism XL are the wave of the future in HPC, enabling customers to achieve optimal compute density and efficiency," said Patricia Harrell, director of HPC and FireStream at AMD. "AMD FireStream compute accelerators and SGI Prism XL will be a great combination for compute-intensive applications."
"Tilera's tile-based processor is a perfect fit in applications where maximizing performance while minimizing power is key," said Ken Way, vice president of worldwide sales at Tilera. "SGI's Prism XL will offer customers a unique platform for using Tilera processors."
Open Software Architecture
SGI Prism XL will support CentOS 5.5 and RedHat RHEL 5.5. SGI Management Center serves as the management layer, with Altair PBSpro GPU-ready for resource scheduling. SGI Management Center will allow customers to tie together fully capable hybrid environments containing Altix UV, Altix ICE, Rackable and Prism XL systems under a single management interface.
Availability and Pricing
SGI (NASDAQ:SGI), a trusted leader in technical computing, is focused on helping customers solve their most demanding business and technology challenges. Visit www.sgi.com for more information.
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