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SGI to enable 64-way Linux multiprocessing with ccNUMA

You'll have to do it on Intel Itanium chips, though

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SGI is to port a version of its ccNUMA shared-memory multiprocessing technology to Linux to boost efforts centred on solve the open source OS' inability to operate efficiently on machines with eight or more processors. SGI's contribution will focus on improving Linux installations that will run on Intel's upcoming 64-bit Itanium chip and allow it to work on up to 64 of the next-generation processors. Right now, Linux scales readily to four processors, but getting it to run well on eight is rather trickier. The company's vice president of systems engineering and chief scientist, Eng Lim Goh told Infoworld that in order to many-way multiprocessing with Linux feasible, it's necessary to add a shared-memory capability to the OS, and that's what ccNUMA will provide. Goh said SGI is currently working on an improved ccNUMA architecture for its MIPS-based, IRIX-running servers, and it will then be moved across to its Intel-based, Linux-running line of machines. He wouldn't say, however, when this would actually happen, though with shipping Itanium-based systems still a way off, there's clearly some time available to get the work done. It's also not clear whether SGI will open the technology to the wider Linux community. While the company has embraced Linux and offered to release other technologies - most notably IRIX's journal file system, XFS - into the open source world, that may not be the case this time. SGI described its addition to Linux as an 'overlay', in other words not technically part of the OS itself, and since SGI doesn't want to harm its MIPS/IRIX business, it might well be tempted to retain full control of ccNUMA. ®

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