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São Paulo’s National Center for High Performance Computing, CENAPAD-SP, Leverages SGI Technology To Accelerate Research


Four SGI Altix Systems and 25TB of SGI InfiniteStorage Will Result in Faster and Larger Calculations in Nanotechnology, Physics and Chemistry
SUNNYVALE, Calif. (March 2008)—Today marks the inauguration of a major addition of SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) technology at the The National Center for High Performance Computing — São Paulo (CENAPAD-SP). With this recent expansion, CENAPAD-SP is one of the largest SGI® Altix® computer installations — and one of the largest HPC facilities — in Brazil. Shipped in September, CENAPAD-SP, at the Universidad de Campinas (Unicamp), completed the installation of four new SGI® Altix® 450 systems and added 25TB to an existing 5TB SGI® InfiniteStorage system. The new and larger-capacity SGI systems join four SGI® Altix® 350 systems purchased two years ago, which have been in constant use on a large variety of physics and chemistry research by universities and state laboratories throughout Brazil.

The overwhelming majority of projects are in materials science and physics; many are focused on nanotechnology computations, especially cutting-edge research on semiconductor nanostructures such as Si and Ge nanowires, metal nanowires such as Au and Cu, very thin nanowires and also carbon structures, such as C-60, carbon nanotubes and graphene nanoribbons. All of these have potential use as devices that could replace silicon in semiconductors.

CENAPAD-SP is celebrating their substantial expansion with an inauguration event on March 14 that includes distinguished guests SGI Chief Technology Officer Dr. Eng Lim Goh, a representative from Brazil’s Ministry of Science and Technology, the Vice Chancellor of Unicamp, the Chancellor of Research at Unicamp, the Secretary of the National System for HPC (SINAPAD) — the consortium of Brazil’s seven national computer centers to which CENAPAD-SP belongs — and several directors of other SINAPAD centers.

“This new Altix system will expand and improve the capabilities and the possibilities of research because the community that uses our center will be able to do faster calculations, longer calculations, and bigger calculations,” said Edison Zacarias da Silva, Professor of Physics, Unicamp and Director, CENAPAD-SP. “We chose SGI Altix again because there are some jobs that absolutely require shared memory processing. We are very excited to start using this new system, which represents three or four times the capacity of our existing systems. We will continue our existing research but with faster time to insight, and with these added resources we will tackle new problems that we could not have attempted before.”

Physics projects make up 94 percent of the SGI systems’ usage, followed by chemistry, and to a lesser extent engineering and biology research projects. The new SGI Altix 450 systems are expected to bring in more chemistry researchers because the leading chemistry application, Gaussian®, has been installed by SGI at the center’s request.

CENAPAD-SP purchased four SGI Altix 450 systems with a total of 176 Intel® Itanium® 2 processors, an SGI® InfiniteStorage 220 system for disk-to-disk storage, an SGI® Altix® 120 system, and 25TB of additional storage for an existing SGI Infinite Storage TP9300 system.

“The added computational power of the new SGI Altix 450 systems and increased storage capacity will provide a major boost to accelerate materials science and chemistry throughout Brazil,” said André Gardinalli, Territory Sales Manager, SGI. “Our success in the educational market will continue to grow because SGI’s shared memory processing enables scientists to greatly accelerate time to discovery.”
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