NASA to fire up SGI supercomputer

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20,480-core Altix ICE system capable of 245 trillion operations per second

NASA has chosen SGI to supply its next major supercomputer after a competitive evaluation launched last year.

The 20,480-core Altix ICE system will be installed this summer in NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing facility at the Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. The supercomputer will be capable of 245 trillion operations per second, and presents new opportunities for scientists and engineers attempting to tackle some of the largest and most complex problems in history.

NASA’s plan to resume manned missions to the Moon and eventually Mars is one of the chief reasons for securing a powerful computing resource. In addition to space exploration, the SGI supercomputer will support NASA’s aeronautics, science and space operations initiatives.

Powered by quad-core Intel Xeon processors, the supercomputer will feature more than 20,800Gb of system memory, roughly equal to 10,000 desktop PCs. NASA will also deploy a next-generation InfiniteStorage InfiniBand disk platform capable of storing and managing 450TB of data, an amount five times larger than the entire print collection of the Library of Congress.

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