SGI unveils purpose built HPC blades

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SGI unveils purpose built HPC blades

Altix Ice cool.

SGI has used the International Supercomputing Conference in Dresden to unveil Altix Ice, the first in a line of blade servers built to handle HPC applications and large scaleout workloads. 

A single Altix Ice 8200 rack can be powered by as many as 512 Intel Xeon processor cores and deliver six teraflops of performance.

The Altix Ice features an energy-saving design which SGI claims can save organisations up to US$53,000 in annual energy costs for a 10Tflop system.

"We repeatedly hear from our customers that first-generation clusters have not delivered the productivity that their performance potential suggested was possible, creating an increasing gap between peak performance and actual productivity," said Robert Ewald, chief executive at SGI.

"Meanwhile, those same organisations are struggling to keep pace with the complexities of using, supporting, powering and cooling these systems.

"SGI Altix Ice is a new generation of system architecture - part cluster, part MPP - that will deliver more of the potential performance of the system to the end user."

The new blades are densely packed thanks to a highly integrated version of the 'Atoka' board, which SGI co-designed with Intel.

This layout, designed specifically for the HPC market, allows a single SGI Altix Ice 8200 blade to be powered by two dual-core or quad-core Intel Xeon processors, and up to 32GB of memory.

SGI adapted cooling technology from its previous Altix line, and the Altix Ice uses an energy-smart power architecture that provides more than 90 percent efficiency on its 12-volt DC front-end power supply.

The new platform also boasts SGI's new water-cooled door design, whereby chilled water running through the unique hinged door carries away up to 95 percent of the heat generated by the system.

SGI Altix Ice 8200 is available from SGI and its resellers today in configurations ranging from eight to 512 processors per rack. A full rack powered by 512 Intel Xeon Processor cores is priced at around US$350,000.
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