SGI to Supply Next NASA Supercomputer

SGI to supply NASA's next major supercomputer

May 7, 2008

2 Min Read
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SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- NASA has chosen SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) to supply its next major supercomputer, a 20,480-core SGI Altix® ICE system, after a competitive evaluation the space agency launched last year.

The new SGI® system, to be installed this summer in the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility at Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, presents vast new opportunities for scientists and engineers who are attempting to tackle some of the largest and most complex problems in history. The supercomputer will be capable of generating 245 trillion operations per second (Teraflops).

NASA's plan to resume manned missions to the moon — and eventually manned exploration of Mars — is one of the chief reasons for securing a new, exceptionally powerful computing resource. In addition to space exploration, the new SGI supercomputer will support NASA's aeronautics, science and space operations initiatives.

Powered by the latest Quad-Core Intel® Xeon® processors, the new supercomputer will feature more than 20,800 Gigabytes (GB) of system memory — equal to the memory found in 10,000 of today's desktop PCs. NASA also will deploy a next-generation SGI® InfiniteStorage InfiniBand disk solution capable of storing and managing 450 Terabytes (TB) of data — an amount five times larger than the entire print collection of the Library of Congress. The installation also includes a 115TB SGI® InfiniteStorage NEXIS Network Attached Storage solution.

The system will augment NASA's Columbia supercomputer, an SGI® Altix® system that, when it was installed in 2004, made history as the most powerful supercomputer in the world. Since then, Columbia has enabled a wide range of breakthroughs, including the preliminary design of a new launch vehicle that someday will carry astronauts back into space, weather models capable of predicting a hurricane's path up to five days before landfall, and a visualization of gravitational waves created by two colliding black holes."NASA's four mission directorates face computing challenges of unprecedented complexity, and these challenges present unique, even monumental compute requirements," said Dr. Rupak Biswas, acting chief of the NAS Division. "Just as Columbia has helped NASA achieve breakthroughs that were previously impossible, this new supercomputer will enable NASA to continue tapping the far limits of science and innovation."


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