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Naval Surface Warfare Center Uses SGI Altix and Storage Solutions to Advance Study of Underwater Explosions


SGI Systems Enable Scientific Breakthroughs to Better Support Design and Development of U.S. Navy Weapon Systems

ORLANDO, Fla. I/ITSEC 2005, Booth 101, (Nov. 29, 2005)—Silicon Graphics (OTC: SGID) today announced that the Warhead Performance and Target Response Branch at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Indian Head, Maryland, has purchased SGI® Altix® server and SGI® InfiniteStorage solutions to provide reliable quantitative predictions of the vulnerability and survivability of targets for existing and prospective U.S. Navy warheads. Armed with state-of-the-art computational and storage resources from SGI, NSWC-Indian Head is now better able to simulate target response to underwater explosions with sufficient fidelity to evaluate the effectiveness of current and future Navy weapons systems.

“The addition of the new Altix servers and InfiniteStorage systems from SGI allow our scientists and engineers to conduct analyses on larger and more complex problems than we were able to attempt in the past,” said Amos Dare, manager, Warhead Performance and Target Response Branch at NSWC-Indian Head. “It is now possible to conduct large three-dimensional computations, enabling faster full 3D analyses of explosive systems.”

The Warhead Performance and Target Response Branch at NSWC-Indian Head serves as the principal source of expertise for the U.S. Navy in the area of underwater explosion phenomenology and its application to target damage. In April, the branch purchased two SGI® Altix® 350 mid-range servers, each configured with 32 Intel® Itanium® 2 processors and 32GB of memory, as well as 6TB of SGI® InfiniteStorage TP9300 RAID, to perform end-to-end simulations using highly complex, specialized software codes. Both the SGI server and storage systems are tied to a high-speed InfiniBand networking switch, enabling the Navy customer to run hydrocodes used to model underwater explosions on the two 32-processor SGI Altix 350 systems or to run code utilizing all 64 processors.

InfiniBand is the only 10Gb per second transport that enables industry standard servers to be clustered together for reliable, available, scaleable and high performance enterprise computing. The InfiniBand solution for the SGI® Altix® family of servers addresses typical bottlenecks and provides technical customers like NSWC-Indian Head with a world-class clustering solution for their most demanding application workloads, such as accurately modeling and simulating the complex interactions between underwater explosions and physical structures such as surface ships, submarines, and mines.

“The Warhead Performance and Target Response Branch at NSWC-Indian Head is the premier scientific research laboratory supporting the Navy’s most challenging underwater warhead problems,” said Thomas Stanley, director of defense and intelligence, SGI “The lab needed a server/storage solution that was powerful enough and versatile enough to support a variety of hydrocodes used to model underwater explosions near structures such as ships, submarines, and submerged or buried mines. The SGI Altix 350 and InfiniteStorage TP9300 coupled with InfiniBand interconnect technology is the perfect solution capable of modeling the entire underwater explosion phenomena including detonation, shock physics, and bubble dynamics, among others.”

SGI Altix 350 is a powerhouse mid-range system that offers SGI’s industry-leading Altix architecture at a breakthrough price point, with global shared memory in configurations of one to 32 Intel Itanium 2 processors. Altix 350 delivers more real-world performance than any other system in its class, and provides breakthrough capabilities for technical database, departmental server and throughput cluster applications. The TP9300 is also priced for small and medium environments seeking the reliability, availability and performance of 2Gb Fibre Channel disk storage. SGI® TP9300 is a modular 2Gb Fibre Channel storage array that delivers a unique combination of advanced storage management features and scalability at a value-based entry price.

SILICON GRAPHICS | The Source of Innovation and Discovery™
SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc. (OTC: SGID), is a leader in high-performance computing, visualization and storage. SGI’s vision is to provide technology that enables the most significant scientific and creative breakthroughs of the 21st century. Whether it’s sharing images to aid in brain surgery, finding oil more efficiently, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense or enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, SGI is dedicated to addressing the next class of challenges for scientific, engineering and creative users. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at

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