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Louisiana Hosts One of World’s Largest Supercomputers with New 4.1-terabyte SGI Altix 4700 System


Massive System at Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) is One of Largest Shared-Memory Computers Available to Private Sector

LAFAYETTE, La. (September 18, 2006) — With a single computer acquisition from SGI (OTC: SGID), the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE) has instantly become one of the world’s leading technology resources for industry, government, and research institutions.

LITE recently installed a massive computing component to its already world-leading SGI-powered visualization capabilities with the purchase of a 160-processor SGI® Altix® 4700 supercomputer with 4.1 trillion bytes (or terabytes) of memory.

While some other supercomputers have more processors, the LITE system is unusual because of the amount of memory that it makes available to solve the sophisticated problems faced by environmental scientists, pharmaceutical researchers, automakers, energy companies, and intelligence agencies. More memory means even large problems can be solved faster, because the system doesn’t have to split up large models or data sets to compute them piece by piece.

In fact, the new LITE system is one of the world’s largest shared-memory computers available to the private sector, commercial users and research institutions. To match the memory of the new LITE system would require researchers to link 4,198 desktop systems, each equipped with 1 Gigabyte of memory. But unlike a series of daisy-chained smaller computers, the LITE system operates as an enormous, single computing resource that can easily apply its entire 4.1 terabytes of RAM as a single shared memory. The system can apply its memory to one massive problem or several major problems at once.

The new LITE system is capable of tackling even the largest computing problems, such as seismic analysis models used for energy exploration, real-time impact simulations vital to safe automobile design, and analysis of geospatial satellite imagery used for weather-related disaster preparedness and national security.

“With this latest acquisition, LITE is uniquely positioned to help our varied user communities benefit from the integration of visualization and supercomputing,” said Dr. Carolina Cruz, executive director and chief scientist at LITE and world-renowned pioneer of visualization technologies. “When working with large-scale, real-word data sets, users often have to subject their data to sophisticated compute algorithms before their project is ready to visualize. With our new system, users can compute and visualize the results of those computations as they are taking place. This new SGI Altix 4700 system is an ideal engine to LITE’s vast SGI visualization resources, and it should serve as a prized resource for users throughout Louisiana and the United States.”

“With the addition of this massive 4.1 Terabyte SGI Altix supercomputer, LITE has been catapulted to the highest echelons of computing centers,” said Dr. Eng Lim Goh, chief technology officer, SGI. “Yet unlike these facilities, LITE is not restricted to assisting researchers and academia alone. For corporations and innovators developing breakthrough products, technologies or processes that will address the challenges we will all face in the coming decades, LITE is truly a national treasure.”

“With today’s announcement, the world can conclude with confidence that despite the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the great State of Louisiana is advancing to the forefront of technology use as an economic development driver. Lafayette is quickly becoming a vanguard community in the technology world,” said Gregg Gothreaux, president and CEO of the Lafayette Economic Development Authority. “It’s exciting indeed to see LITE bolster its already impressive technology resources with a massive, shared-memory SGI Altix supercomputer. This addition will serve as a vital platform for new discoveries, innovations and insights for corporations and research communities located throughout Louisiana and beyond; it will also facilitate the development of products and new job creation, which is the exact reason LITE was developed in the first place — economic development.”

Anchoring the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Technology Research Park, the $27 million, 70,000-square-foot LITE complex features one of the most comprehensive and tightly integrated installations of SGI technology ever assembled. LITE’s immense storehouse of SGI technology will include a digital 3D immersive visualization cube, a 174-seat visualization theatre, an immersive collaboration video tele-conference room, a network of SGI® Altix® 350 systems powered by 352 processors, and an 8TB SGI® InfiniteStorage Storage Area Network.

LITE’s technology platform was acquired and deployed with guidance and support from James River Technical (JRT), a leading provider of high-performance computing solutions to the academic, government and commercial markets. “JRT is proud to be an important part of the evolution of LITE — a facility that is unique in its mission to make state-of-the-art HPC technology available to a wide array of users while creating an economic engine for Lafayette Parish and the State of Louisiana,” said Tom Mountcastle, president, James River Technical. “The capabilities of this facility promise to make a significant difference at every level of research — from local business to national institutions and global enterprises.”

The LITE facility, a partnership between the State of Louisiana, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and Lafayette Economic Authority (LEDA), creates an environment designed to stimulate collaboration between technology-intensive companies, ventures and entrepreneurs, researchers at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and other state and national universities, as well as federal government agencies. LITE involves partnerships between government, universities, and industry for basic research, application development, testing and validation, product development, and commercial production, along with delivery of visualization technologies and high-performance computer modeling.

About SGI Altix
The SGI Altix family leverages the built-in SGI NUMAlink™ interconnect fabric, which allows global addressing of all memory in the system and delivers data up to 200 times faster than conventional interconnects. For the first time, more complex data sets and complete workflows can be driven entirely out of memory, enabling productivity breakthroughs that traditional Linux clusters or repurposed UNIX® servers can’t achieve. Altix systems offer breakthrough flexibility and configurability, scaling to up to 512 processors per node. Based on a 64-bit Linux® operating environment, the Altix family is uniquely capable of independently scaling Intel® Itanium® 2 processors, shared memory and/or I/O on a single, standard chassis with different expansion modules, providing optimal resource usage for demanding technical applications.

About LITE
LITE (Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise) is one of the world’s leading 3D visualization and supercomputing resource centers serving clients in the commercial industry, government, and university sectors. LITE’s leading-edge research complex features a comprehensive set of advanced visualization systems including a sophisticated interactive 3D theatre and one of the world’s first six-sided digital 3D total immersive spaces (TIS). As one of the most tightly integrated visualization, supercomputing, and networking installations ever assembled, LITE features a massive graphics supercomputer with 4.1 Terabytes of RAM with access to a 60GBit high-speed optical network. For more information please visit

SGI | The Source of Innovation and Discovery.™
SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc. (OTC: SGID), is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI helps customers solve their computing challenges, whether it’s sharing images to aid in brain surgery, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at

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

This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding SGI technologies and third-party technologies that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely unduly on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future or current performance. Such risks and uncertainties include long-term program commitments, the performance of third parties, the sustained performance of current and future products, financing risks, the ability to integrate and support a complex technology solution involving multiple providers and users, and other risks detailed from time to time in the company’s most recent SEC reports, including its reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q.


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