Press Release

SGI Enhances NASA’s Research Capabilities With Upgraded Supercomputers and Pleiades Ranks #11 on TOP500

By SpaceRef Editor
November 18, 2014
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SGI (NASDAQ: SGI), a global leader in high performance solutions for compute, data analytics and data management, announced that NASA’s flagship supercomputer, Pleiades, was recently upgraded with new, more powerful hardware in order to help meet the agency’s increasing demand for high-end computing (HEC) resources. Completed in October 2014, the upgrade adds 15 SGI® ICE™ X racks providing 1,080 nodes, containing the latest generation of Intel® Xeon® E5-2680 v3 processors. The new hardware increased Pleiades’ theoretical peak performance to 4.5 petaflops. The NASA Ames Research Center upgrade is part of NASA’s High-End Computing Capabilities (HECC) Project, which supports NASA missions to pioneer the future of space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research through increased computational capabilities.

NASA’s HECC Project allows scientists and engineers access to world-class high-end computing, storage and consulting services, to support NASA’s overarching research goals through large-scale modeling, simulation, and analysis. The systems’ key focus is to support NASA’s real-world engineering applications, improve modeling and simulation methods to further enhance the development of aerospace technology, including to safely conduct human and robotic space exploration, and advance knowledge of Earth and the universe beyond. State-of-the-art facilities maintained through the HECC Project give researchers the opportunity to run complex simulations in a timely and precise manner, allowing NASA faster access to key insights that improve its ability to successfully achieve mission goals.

“Supercomputing is crucial to NASA for enabling breakthroughs across numerous mission-related fields of study,” said Piyush Mehrota, chief of the NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division at NASA’s Ames Research Center. “Our HEC computing environment continues to grow to meet the increasing demands of more than 1,200 scientists and engineers utilizing the facility each year.”

The Pleiades supercomputer is a distributed-memory SGI ICE X cluster, connected with InfiniBand® by a dual-plane hypercube technology and is ranked #11 in the prestigious TOP500 November 2014 list.

“NASA Ames Research Center was one of SGI’s first customers,” said Jorge Titinger, president and CEO, SGI. “Our longstanding collaboration has allowed both organizations to flourish in a highly competitive space. The speed, scale and flexibility of our ICE X systems has allowed NASA Ames’ compute environment to grow at a steady rate matching their needs and ambitions and has given hundreds of researchers access to cutting-edge insights that are crucial to mission success.”

“We’re excited that NASA Ames has selected the Intel® Xeon® processor-powered SGI ICE X system to scale their existing infrastructure,” said Charles Wuischpard, vice president Data Center Group and general manager of Workstations and HPC, Intel. “Using Intel Xeon processors allows research centers to take advantage of the regular performance gains enabled by Moore’s Law to easily upgrade their facilities and maximize productivity for scientists and researchers through the use of open industry standard programming models and techniques. We look forward to the amazing discoveries to follow.”

The new addition was brought online via live integration in early October and is available to researchers looking to use the Pleiades system. SGI supercomputers continue to be well represented in the top open systems deployments.

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©2014 Silicon Graphics International Corp. All rights reserved. SGI, the SGI logo, InfiniBand and SGI ICE are trademarks or registered trademarks of Silicon Graphics International Corp. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. Intel and Xeon are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.

SpaceRef staff editor.