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Japan’s Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University to Install New System Architected Around SGI’s Linux OS-Based Supercomputer


Shared-Memory Computer with 1,280 Processors, Advanced Visualization and One Petabyte of Storage to be Used for Next-Generation Fluid Integration Research

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. and TOKYO, Japan (December 8, 2005)—To aid in conducting next-generation research to protect the global environment and contribute toward the improved safety and welfare of mankind, Silicon Graphics (OTC: SGID) and SGI Japan, Ltd. (President and CEO: Norio Izumi, HQ: Ebisu Shibuya-ward, Tokyo) recently installed at the Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University (Director: Toshiaki Ikohagi) a state-of-the-art supercomputing system. The new system was built upon SGI server, visualization and storage technology to enable researchers to achieve more accurate results and shorter time to solution.

The Institute of Fluid Science, Tohoku University is a unique research facility that specializes in fluid science - the flow of material substance as well as heat, energy and information. As a pioneer, the institute has achieved a number of findings by conducting large-scale numerical simulations essential to fluid science research. The institute selected SGI Japan’s proposal for its cost-effective system that met all the requirements for the new supercomputer and for SGI’s extensive experience and a number of achievements in the supercomputing field in Japan.

The new supercomputer, shipped this summer, is comprised of a scalable SGI® Altix® 3000 scalar parallel server based on the 64-bit Linux® OS, a vector parallel NEC computer, a scalable Silicon Graphics Prism™ visualization system, external secondary storage systems and data archive systems, all of which are interconnected via high-speed network, enabling sharing of large files with the SGI® InfiniteStorage CXFS™ shared filesystem and the NEC GFS global file system attached to the Storage Area Network (SAN).

The core of the new system is one of the fastest computers to have been installed in Japan for fluid science researches. Based on the SGI Altix system, the supercomputer will contain 1,024 Intel® Itanium® 2 processors and 12TB (terabytes) of main memory in a large-scale shared-memory configuration, or single system image (SSI). The Institute of Fluid Science has installed a Silicon Graphics Prism visualization system - one of the most powerful visualization systems in the world - with 256 processors, eight ATI® graphics processors and 2TB of main memory that will be used to accelerate the analysis of results generated on the Altix system. The new system will also provide 1PB (Petabyte) of storage, one of the largest storage systems in Japan.

In April, 2003, the institute expanded by establishing a next-generation Fluid Integration Research Center where scientists promote fluid science researches in various advanced science and engineering fields by means of a new research methodology integrating its experimental and computational methods. To analyze and control increasingly complex and diversified fluid problems, the institute decided to replace its existing supercomputer with a new system specifically designed for-next generation fluid integration research for even more accurate results and shorter time to solution.

The institute also needs to enhance its interface server and visualization server for real-time integration of experimental and simulation results and 3D visualization to solve complex flow problems seen in actual phenomena through its new methodology. The Silicon Graphics Prism system will be used to understand the results generated by the next generation of fluid simulations. The institute will also use SGI’s Visual Area Networking technology to deliver interactive, visual results directly to researchers’ desktops independent of their location.

The disk and tape storage systems will respectively provide a large capacity of 1PB sufficient to process and store massive research data. By connecting both the supercomputers and visualization system to the SAN based on CXFS, researchers will be able to share one set of storage for their entire research process. This accelerates fluid research by eliminating time consuming data copies and simplifying storage management.

Institute of Fluid Sciences, Tohoku University
The Institute of Fluid Sciences maintains a high-quality research infrastructure, and large-scale high-performance research facilities for teaching and research advising of students at the Graduate Schools of Engineering, Information Sciences and Environmental Studies. In addition, staff actively pursues joint research and training activities by hosting Japanese and foreign scholars and research students. Research conducted at the Institute of Fluid Science includes controlling substances causing global warming, developing low-intrusive medical treatments with shock waves, creating advanced technology for better utilization of natural energy sources, developing manufacturing processes of new materials, developing high-functionality material / fluid systems, and advancing high-efficiency supersonic flight and space propulsion technology.

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

Silicon Graphics, SGI, Altix, XFS, the SGI cube and the SGI logo are registered trademarks and CXFS, Silicon Graphics Prism, 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. Novell is a registered trademark, and SUSE is a trademark of Novell, Inc, in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.


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