SGI finally announces UltraViolet
The not-so-secret HPC that’s going to bring SGI back to superiority as the premium SSI HPC provider has finally been announced: Ultraviolet.
UV features the fifth generation of the NUMAlink interconnect, offering a 15 GB/sec transfer rate, MPI offload capability in the UV hub chip, and direct access up to 16 TB of shared memory. The system can be configured with up to 2048 Nehalem-EX cores shipping Q2 next year from Intel in a single system image, and as with the 4700 multiple SSIs can be federated together while preserving the single global address space. When I was being briefed on the launch before the show, Jill Matzke, Altix product manager, reminded me that SGI has been very active in the Linux community: all the IP needed to make this shared-memory goodness work has been contributed back to the SUSE and Red Hat communities, so you can actually load a stock distro on your UV when it shows up, and everything will work.
Price and availability are still a bit fuzzy, as SGI is waiting for Intel to announce the new Nehalem chips that it uses, but it’s great to see SGI rising back to HPC powerhouse status. I’ll be meeting with SGI tomorrow afternoon and hope to get more details then.