SCIENCE & ENGINEERING NEWS
Mountain View, CA — SGI announced a collaborative effort between SGI and NASA Ames Research Center to develop a 1,024-processor SGI Origin 3000 series system, delivering unprecedented computing capabilities based on the SGI NUMAflex modular technology.
NASA Ames has ordered two 512-processor SGITM OriginT 3800 systems – the largest shared-memory configurations currently available in the new SGI Origin 3000 series – and will combine them to serve as a test bed for a 1,024-processor supercomputer. The system will be used by NASA scientists for research in the areas of aeronautics, earth sciences and life sciences.
A 512-processor SGITM 2800 system called Lomax – the largest single-system image in existence today – has helped NASA Ames scientists achieve monumental goals in technology research areas such as computational fluid dynamics, global climate modeling and computational astrobiology. But NASA Ames researchers are predicting even greater performance from the 1,024-processor SGI Origin 3000 series system.
“According to our projections, the SGI NUMAflex architecture is going to deliver about six times the performance at 1,024 processors as the 512-processor system,” said Bill Feiereisen, chief, Numerical Aerospace Simulation (NAS) Systems Division at NASA Ames in Moffett Field, Calif.
SGI NUMAflex is a revolutionary snap-together server system concept that allows customers like NASA Ames to configure-and reconfigure-systems brick by brick to meet the exact demands of their applications. A reduced footprint on the SGI Origin 3000 series is also a big advantage for customers with limited floor space to accommodate large computer systems.
“Our floor space at NASA Ames is pretty full and if the 1,024-processor SGI Origin 3000 series system had been twice the size of the 512-processor SGI 2800 system, then we wouldn’t have had room for it,” said Feiereisen. “The SGI Origin 3000 series, however, has twice the number of processors per square foot, allowing us to push machinery around to make room for it.”
Built on the reliable, third-generation SGI NUMA architecture and IRIX 6.5 operating system, the SGI Origin 3000 series works with customers’ existing application software and is fully compatible with other IRIX OS-based servers and workstations. NASA Ames, for instance, will run its Overflow-MLP (Multi-Level Parallelism) computational fluid dynamic code on the 1,024-processor SGI Origin 3000 series shared memory system. SGI Origin 3800 easily scales with snap-together modularity to 512 processors and a terabyte of memory. SGI and NASA Ames will prove that SGI Origin 3800 is also flexible enough to be configured with software as a single 1,024-processor shared-memory server.
“SGI scaled its SGI 2800 high-end server from 256 processors to 512 processors to meet NASA’s most challenging technological problems,” said Anthony Robbins, president, SGI Federal. “With plans to build a 1,024-processor SGI Origin 3000 series machine by February 2001, NASA Ames is once again pushing the envelope of high-performance computing and firmly establishing itself as a cutting-edge research facility.”
The mission of NAS is to lead the country in the research and development of high-performance computers by being the first to develop, implement and integrate new high-performance computing technologies into useful production systems. NAS provides NASA and its customers with the most powerful, reliable and usable high-performance production computing systems available.
SGI provides a broad range of high-performance computing and advanced graphics solutions that enable customers to understand and conquer their toughest computing problems. Headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., with offices worldwide, the company is located on the Web at http://www.sgi.com . ============================================================