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SGI pulls the rug out from under PSC

by on July 10, 2009

SC08_final_wallI just got an credible tip, confirmed by an SGI Sales rep, about a sour love triangle between the Old SGI, the New SGI, and the Pittsburg Supercomputing Center (PSC).

About a year ago, the National Science Foundation worked with PSC to prepare for a 1 PetaFlop system to be deployed there and integrated into the TeraGrid, a large global supercomputing network used for academic and public research.  The result was an SGI UltraViolet system, approximately 197 cabinets, 100,000 cores, and all of it for the low price of $30 million dollars.

Well, that was with the old SGI.  News now is that the new SGI has found other customers willing to pay higher “more reasonable” prices for these same cabinets, and has decided not to honor the original offer.  Legally, they don’t have to honor them but it puts PSC and the NSF in a tight spot as they now have $30 million that’s supposed to magically turn into a 1PF supercomputer, and won’t.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to buy an SGI UltraViolet, the wait just got a lot shorter.