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Swimmers Deliver the Gold In Speedo Suit Designed with Help from SGI


Fluid Flow Studies Conducted on SGI Altix Help Reduce Drag

SUNNYVALE, Calif., (August 2008) — When sports enthusiasts look back on this year’s Summer Games in Beijing, they’ll recall an historic event in which a single swimmer earned eight gold medals in eight days. But they may also remember 2008 as the year swimming and supercomputing became one.

That’s because swimmers from the U.S. and around the world shattered records and brought home medals while wearing elite Speedo Fastskin® LZR Racer® swimwear designed in part on supercomputers from SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC).

More than two years ago, Speedo’s Aqualab research and development facility turned to powerful SGI® Altix® systems to develop the next generation of its performance swimwear. Engineers ran computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses to better understand how to optimize the flow of water around a swimmer and to create the designs and materials that would give athletes a winning edge.

Combined with water and wind tunnel tests, the CFD analyses were part of a scientific approach to product design that ultimately created the Fastskin LZR Racer, which features 5 percent less passive drag than the Fastskin® FS-Pro, the suit Speedo introduced in 2007.

Where Swimming and Supercomputing Meet

* Researchers believe that swimmers perform better in suits that streamline the body and channel the flow of water around it, thus reducing drag.
* CFD modeling shows how the water flows around the body. Different suits are designed for male and female athletes because CFD has determined that females produce a more separated flow, where the water actually leaves the surface of the swimmer.
* The SGI Altix system architecture speeds up the design process by shortening data access time and computational runs. This makes it an ideal platform for complex CFD analysis for designing next-generation swimsuits, cars, airplanes or rockets.
SGI, the SGI cube, Altix and the SGI logo are registered trademarks of SGI in the United States and/or other countries worldwide. Speedo, Fastskin and LZR Racer are registered trademarks of Speedo Holdings B.V. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.


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