UK Atomic Weapons Establishment Receives Three SGI ICE X Systems

June 20, 2014

MILPITAS, Calif., June 20 — SGI, the leader in high performance computing and Big Data, today announces that the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) has concluded a complete acceptance of three SGI ICE X systems. A formal ceremony today at AWE signifies the full operational status of the systems.

AWE manufactures and maintains warheads for the UK’s nuclear deterrent, Trident. This encompasses the entire life cycle of nuclear warheads, from initial concept, assessment and design through component manufacture and assembly, in-service support, decommissioning and then disposal.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty prohibits any test that produces any nuclear yield underground, underwater, in the atmosphere or in space. AWE must therefore continually develop methods to verify the safety and reliability of nuclear warheads through a science-based program.

“It’s critical that advanced high-performance computing systems underpin our science program, and SGI’s supercomputing systems are enabling us to quickly advance research and development. Crucially, this means we can continue to underwrite the safety and effectiveness of the Trident warhead in the comprehensive test ban treaty era,” commented Paul Tomlinson, head of High Performance Computing at AWE. “From the very outset there was a one-team approach between SGI and AWE. We are very happy with the professionalism and adaptability of SGI to meet and exceed our expectations throughout this complex project.”

SGI ICE X systems were subject to a series of stringent acceptance tests and reliability runs. The performance achieved throughout the testing, not only met, but in many cases exceeded SGI’s performance commitments.

“As is often the case with critically important supercomputers of this magnitude, the project was subject to a demanding delivery timeline. The dedication and expertise of our onsite services team working in close partnership with AWE ensured we completed acceptance ahead of the agreed timetable,” said Jorge Titinger, president and CEO of SGI. “Our services capabilities differentiated SGI in the bidding process and we went above and beyond to deliver on our promises.”

“Our continued commitment to AWE ensures they can address the future of nuclear weapons, and safely, strategically advance a range of scientific challenges. The SGI ICE X systems are scalable and flexible, enabling AWE to run a wide range of applications and improve scientific modelling, ” said Titinger.

About the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)

The Atomic Weapons Establishment has been central to the defence of the United Kingdom for more than 50 years through its provision and maintenance of the warheads for the country’s nuclear deterrent, Trident. The work undertaken at AWE covers the entire life cycle of nuclear warheads; from initial concept, assessment and design, through to component manufacture and assembly, in-service support, and decommissioning and disposal.

The AWE sites and facilities are government owned but the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has a government-owned contractor-operated contract with AWE Management Limited (AWE ML) to manage the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the UK’s nuclear stockpile. AWE ML is formed of three equal shareholders — Serco, Lockheed Martin and Jacobs Engineering Group. For further information, visit: http://www.awe.co.uk

About SGI

SGI, the trusted leader in high performance computing (HPC), is focused on helping customers solve their most demanding business and technology challenges by delivering technical computing, Big Data analytics, cloud computing, and Petascale storage solutions that accelerate time to discovery, innovation, and profitability.

Source: SGI

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