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Xiamen University Scientists Achieve Faster Time to Insight with SGI Altix 350 Cluster


Scientists process three times more workload than before in the same amount of time with new Altix cluster

BEIJING and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., (March 9, 2006)—Silicon Graphics (OTC: SGID) today announced the scientists in the State Key Laboratory of Physics Chemistry of Solid Surfaces at Xiamen University have streamlined their advanced chemistry study with four, 16-processor SGI® Altix® 350 servers equipped with 32GB of memory each. The four SGI Altix 350 servers comprise a cluster that is utilized by different research projects, such as studying the physical chemistry of solid surfaces and the discovery of new materials. The computational power of the Altix systems has significantly accelerated research progress by delivering results in much less time.

The State Key Laboratory of Physics Chemistry of Solid Surfaces at Xiamen University is a leading physics chemistry lab in China. The University is focused on the latest developments in theoretical methods and computational modeling of complex molecular systems and related chemical and biological processes.

The Lab at Xiamen University selected the SGI Altix cluster over a PC-based cluster solution because of its flexibility in processing numerical codes from different projects, scalability, easy administration, low latency and peak power performance. The ease-of-use and administration of the new Altix system enables scientists and researchers to focus on real science instead of computer science.

“Each project group has its own objective and schedule. Everyday we receive computing requirements from different groups and the Altix cluster is fully utilized to run material studio, CASTEP and DMol3 from Accelerys, VASP and various custom codes,” said Professor Cao, group leader for the University’s HPC platform. “Since we installed the Altix systems, we have processed three times more workload than before in the same time. This is a significant acceleration in time to insight and discovery for many of the research projects of each group.”

The four SGI Altix 350 systems, installed in October, together are powered by 64 Intel® Itanium® 2 processors running the 64-bit Linux® operating environment. Based on SGI’s NUMAflex™ architecture, SGI Altix uniquely provides a cluster solution that can support the most demanding application mix in a multi-user environment, with unsurpassed scalability in all dimensions. This modular architecture can independently scale processors, memory, and I/O resources on the node for ultimate performance, system right-sizing and resource efficiency.

“Coupled with the Itanium 2 processor, the SGI Altix server offers technical computing users unprecedented price/performance and scalability in a standard Linux environment,” said William Wu, Regional Platform Marketing Manager, Asia Pacific, Intel. “The real value is how this system will help accelerate scientific design and research faster than before.”

“We are pleased that the The State Key Laboratory of Physics Chemistry of Solid Surfaces at Xiamen University has experienced such significant progress in their research by using the SGI Altix 350, ” said Alex Lee, president, SGI, China. “SGI core competencies of HPC, storage and visualization are keenly aligned with the needs of scientists and educators throughout the world, fueling innovation and discovery in many disciplines. SGI values our relationship with Xiamen University as a strategic customer in China and in the sciences field.”

The State Key Laboratory of Physics Chemistry of Solid Surfaces at Xiamen University
The State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces was established in the late 80’s during the China’s resurgence period through rigorous inter-ministerial debates on a scheme proposed by the State Planning Commission of the Government of China, and was funded by the Ministry of Sciences and Technology. The research management and operation quickly took shape pioneered by the personnel (including several existing and subsequent members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, notably Professors Khi-Rui Tsai, Zhao-Wu Tian, and Qian-Er Zhang) on the site of the old Institute of Physical Chemistry, and developed rapidly, both scientifically and physically, into a self-sustaining body. In 1990, upon on-site review the Inter-Ministerial Inspection Committee pronounced the completion of the establishment. Since then, the Laboratory has opened its door to researchers from national and international communities to carry out basic research in the Laboratory. At the present, the Laboratory consists of 44 permanent faculty members including 34 senior researchers (among them six members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences), eight staff technicians, and two management personnel.

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Silicon Graphics, SGI, Altix, the SGI cube and the SGI logo are registered trademarks and NUMAflex and The Source of Innovation and Discovery are trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. Intel and Itanium are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in several countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.


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