Origin 3000 Systems To Help Major Army Lab

August 25, 2000

NEWS BRIEFS

Mountain View, CA – SGI announced that the Army Research Lab (ARL), one of the four Department of Defense (DoD) Major Shared Resource Centers (MSRCs), has adopted the patented SGI NUMAflex modular technology to help keep the center at the forefront of advanced high-performance computing.

As part of its Performance Level 3b upgrade program, the ARL MSRC will install two separate SGI Origin 3000 series systems-with 512 processors and 256 processors, respectively-to support the DoD research community’s unclassified and classified missions. These new SGI Origin 3000 series systems will give DoD researchers the added processing power to compute and analyze increasingly complex mission-critical projects.

The Performance Level 3b upgrade is a component of the DoD’s High-Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), designed to give the United States the technological edge by offering researchers access to the latest computational equipment and scientific developments. The ARL MSRC, which comes under the direction of the DoD HPCMP, is implementing a three-part plan to acquire, develop, install and test new computational tools and equipment.

“One of the DoD HPCMP’s goals is to continually acquire the best commercially available high-end HPC systems,” said Charles J. Nietubicz, division chief of ARL’s High-Performance Computing Division and director of the ARL MSRC.

SGI recently announced the launch of its new SGI Origin 3000 series servers. Available immediately, the systems-based on the breakthrough SGI NUMAflex modular technology-offer flexibility, resiliency, overall investment protection and superior performance.

The unique SGI NUMAflex modular technology is a “brick”-style system for constructing small to very large computer systems from a common set of building blocks. The SGI NUMAflex modular system allows users to build the optimum configuration one component at a time and adopt new technologies that map to their specific business or research needs.

The 768 400 MHz processors will help to quadruple the ARL MSRC’s computing power, making the facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., one of the world’s top 10 most powerful computer sites with a data rate of approximately 2 trillion floating point calculations per second. The ARL MSRC allows the U.S. to maintain its technological supremacy and to streamline weapon development and acquisition, using world-class computational resources, expert scientific assistance and training.

“With these added resources, the ARL MSRC can support complex, coupled 3D scientific problems encompassing more than one computational technology area,” said Dr. N. Radhakrishnan, director of the Computational and Informational Sciences Directorate at ARL.

Raytheon, the ARL MSRC’s technology integrator, is installing the new hardware and working with DoD partners to develop specialized software tools and programming environments, linking computer sites to high-speed networks and training DoD users.

“The improvements we’re making at the ARL MSRC will make it one of the most sought-after centers in the DoD research community,” said Dr. Prabu Prabhakaran, Raytheon program director.

The SGI Origin 3000 series utilizes the SGI IRIX operating system, the world’s premier 64-bit UNIX operating system for high-performance computing, advanced visualization and production supercomputing. IRIX is renowned for its leadership in scalable computation; high-performance data movement, sharing, and management; real-time applications support; and media streaming capabilities. Technical applications that currently run on the SGI 2000 series will run on the SGI 3000 family of systems.

The 768 processors running on two SGI Origin 3000 series systems will supplement several previously installed SGI Origin 2000 systems at the ARL MSRC, including two 128-processor systems, three 64-processor systems and one 32-processor system.

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 .

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