Feeds

SGI preps supers for future Intel chips

To Itanium or not to Itanium

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

SC08 Architectures can change quickly in the supercomputing space, and slow-moving vendors can get left behind or at least find themselves out of step with the next big wave of sales in the HPC area. This has happened in the past with Silicon Graphics, and the company is determined to not let it happen again.

At the SC08 supercomputing show in Austin, Texas, this week, SGI was on hand to show off its future blade-style compute nodes for its Altix ICE Xeon-based clusters and to continue promoting the Itanium-based Altix 4700 systems that it's been selling and expanding for years. The company was happy to talk about future Altix ICE gear, but it wouldn't be penned down on plans for the Altix 4700 machines.

Michael Brown, sciences segment manager at SGI, was manning the company's booth and showing off a forthcoming Altix ICE blade that will use Intel's "Nehalem" multicore Xeon chip, widely expected to come to market with two, four, and eight cores in March 2009. The SGI compute blade has a dozen memory slots and will support 8 GB DDR3 memory modules, for a total of 96 GB of capacity. Thanks to the QuickPath Interconnect that the Nehalem Xeon and "Tukwila" Itanium processors will share - and their on-chip memory controllers - the "Tylersburg" chipset from Intel doesn't need a northbridge and that leaves room to rejigger the CPU sockets and memory slots and provide better cooling and more memory slots.

The future SGI Altix ICE blade will come with two dual-rate InfiniBand ports, and this is important because the backplane and switches inside the current Altix ICE racks are based on DDR InfiniBand. Brown said that while quad data rate InfiniBand was just coming available, SGI felt that it was more appropriate for its existing customers who want to add more processing power to deliver a DDR InfiniBand blade (running at 20 Gb/sec) rather than bumping up to QDR speeds (at 40 Gb/sec). (As we previously reported, Sun Microsystems is gearing up to sell a much larger blade with two two-socket Nehalem boards on a single blade, which also integrates QDR InfiniBand on the blade).

Brown said that the Altix ICE boxes would be upgraded with faster InfiniBand "within the next calendar year," since HPC customers always want more bandwidth. QDR InfiniBand would probably be available in SGI's plain vanilla rack servers first and then put into the Altix ICE machines later, since the blades and the backplane both need to be updated, not just motherboards.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.