Mountain View, CA — SGI announced that it has begun volume shipping of its Cray SV1 supercomputers, the first in the company’s line of scalable vector systems. By the end of this month, SGI expects to complete most shipments against this initial order backlog of 68 Cray SV1 systems totaling more than 1,400 Cray SV1 processors.
Among initial customers for the Cray SV1 are the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) and the National Cancer Institute.
Stan Burt, director of the National Cancer Institute’s Advanced Biomedical Computing Center, called the Institute’s new Cray SV1 “a significant resource for the entire biological research community. It is a powerful machine, with lots of memory, and users will find it to be a valuable tool in sorting out the functions of the genes and proteins involved in their diseases of interest.”
Steve Oberlin, vice president of Cray Business Unit, SGI, said customer deliveries of the Cray SV1 system mark achievement of a key milestone on SGI’s high-performance computing roadmap. “With initial deliveries of Cray SV1 systems, we moved considerably closer to a single high-performance architecture unifying the best of parallel vector and scalable parallel technologies,” said Oberlin.
“The Cray SV1 delivers superior performance, superior value and a clear path forward in vector supercomputing. These attributes are what’s behind the strong customer interest in this first-of-its-kind product,” said Mick Dungworth, vice president, High Performance Computing Field Management for the Cray business unit. “We have succeeded in delivering breakthrough performance in a system that also protects customers’ prior investments in vector applications,” said Dungworth.
Cray SV1 supercomputers are fourth-generation CMOS vector systems designed to handle a broad range of vector applications. Each Cray SV1 node features two types of processors: an ultra-high-performance 4.8 gigaflops Multi-Streaming Processor (MSP) that handles computation-intensive applications and a standard processor with 1.2 gigaflops of peak performance for less-demanding applications. This combination, which enables the world’s first adjustable-size vector processors, lets users match their requirements with the system’s resources and allows Cray SV1 systems to handle varied problems and workloads efficiently.
A fully configured Cray SV1 node contains six MSPs and eight standard processors. Processors are configured in a symmetric multiprocessing architecture similar to that used in Cray T90 and Cray J90 series supercomputers. Cray SV1 systems are scalable up to 32 nodes and one teraflops of peak performance, an unprecedented level of scalability in vector processing made possible by superclustering technology pioneered by SGI. Customers can start with an entry-level Cray SV1 system and build up to true teraflops-class capability.
This scalable vector capability means most jobs can be run on a single Cray SV1 node, providing maximum ease of use, while a large Cray SV1 configuration can run multiple vector applications at once. Very large jobs can be run across multiple nodes using message-passing programming models.
Cray SV1 processor performance is further enhanced by the system’s incorporation of the world’s first vector cache memory. “The combination of vector cache memory with our proven Autotasking technology delivers up to 25.6 gigabytes per second of memory bandwidth for each Multi-Streaming Processor,” said Dungworth.
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