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U.S. Defense Computing Capability Soars With Powerful New SGI Altix Supercomputer


At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, SGI Arms DoD Engineers with Platform to Design the Next Generation of Warfighting

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (February 26, 2007) — With the world facing unprecedented security concerns, Department of Defense (DoD) engineers and scientists developing the next breakthrough in warfare have no time to lose. Fortunately, a powerful new supercomputer from SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) will help them make every minute count.

Deployed at the Aeronautical Systems Center Major Shared Resource Center (ASC MSRC) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the new SGI® Altix® 4700 system packs 9,216 Intel® Itanium® 2 processor cores into a single supercomputer equipped with 20TB of shared memory and 440TB of usable disk space. The enormous boost in the DoD’s computational capability means that researchers can achieve results faster and pursue innovations that until now were impossible.

Acquired as part of the TI-07 program, which is administered by the DoD’s High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP), the new SGI system will rank as one of the largest computers in the DoD. But more importantly, the SGI resource will help DoD researchers to design weapons systems faster, reduce risk by increasing the quality of modeling and simulation, and support an intensifying effort to develop “game-changing” computational science and engineering applications.

The system will offer major advantages to an array of projects, such as computational fluid dynamics studies designed to reduce the risks posed by turbulence on aircraft carrier decks. Known as “airwake”, this potentially dangerous aerodynamic effect is caused by the superstructure of an aircraft carrier, and can extend up to one mile from the ship. With access to more power and memory from the Altix system, DoD researchers can more quickly and accurately modify carrier designs that minimize the ship’s airwake - and with it, the danger to pilots.

“We are excited about the addition of this new SGI HPC system that will increase the power of the ASC MSRC systems by more than 60 TeraFLOPS,” said Steve Wourms, Director, Aeronautical System Center Major Shared Resource Center (ASC MSRC). “Combined with our three existing 2,048-processor systems, the ASC MSRC will increase its total computing performance to 85 TeraFLOPS, which will provide our researchers with the resources to solve the most complex and challenging problems confronting our nation in these uncertain times.”

“The work undertaken by the ASC MSRC will have a direct and lasting impact on the future of air defense,” said Dennis McKenna, president and CEO of SGI. “SGI is proud to supply the Department of Defense with the world’s most scalable Linux platform - a strategic asset capable of keeping pace with the most demanding computational problems faced by scientists and engineers. While SGI always delivers Innovation for Results, today that mission has particular importance.”

“More than a thousand researchers will rely on the ASC MSRC’s powerful SGI installation to simulate entire battles, aircraft and weapons systems with unprecedented fidelity,” said Dr. Eng Lim Goh, senior vice president and chief technology officer for SGI. “These scientists and engineers are working with ever-increasing data sets that benefit directly from the Altix 4700 architecture’s ability to process massive problems as a whole, which shortens time to results and allows more interactive and insightful work. SGI is proud to help enable and accelerate this vital effort.”

The Altix platform’s shared-memory NUMAflex® architecture will allow the DoD’s HPC applications to take advantage of all of the Altix system’s globally addressable memory and SGI’s InfiniteStorage 4500 disk storage. Altix systems enable customers to independently expand memory, I/O and processors, while the compact blade packaging of the Altix 4700 rack provides excellent performance density - features that make Altix a uniquely flexible and cost-effective solution.

“With technology needs growing exponentially, there is a real need to increase the power of our supercomputers while providing a powerhouse system with industry-leading capability, scalability, production quality, ease of use, and the ability to handle massive amounts of data while supporting globally addressable memory across multiple nodes,” Wourms said. “With the SGI Altix 4700 scaling to thousands of Intel Itanium 2 sockets, this system is ideal to help solve the most complex HPC problems that will allow our researchers to achieve incredible leaps in problem-solving, and will help power groundbreaking research and development for the DoD. This SGI Altix 4700 system is designed to meet the needs of our most innovative and aggressive scientists and engineers.”

About the ASC MSRC
The ASC MSRC is a computational science facility supporting DoD research, development, and test and evaluation communities with high performance computing resources. Created as part of the DoD’s HPCMP, the ASC MSRC High Performance Computing Center is located on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and is one of four DoD MSRC sites.

SGI - Innovation for Results™
SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI delivers a complete range of high-performance server and storage solutions along with industry-leading professional services and support that enable its customers to overcome the challenges of complex data-intensive workflows and accelerate breakthrough discoveries, innovation and information transformation. SGI solutions help customers solve their computing challenges whether it’s enhancing the quality of life through drug research, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and can be found on the Web at

© 2007 SGI. All rights reserved. SGI, Altix, the SGI cube and the SGI logo are registered trademarks of SGI 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. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.


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