November 25, 2005
To accelerate materials science research at atomic and molecular levels, the Donostia Foundation International Physics Center (DIPC), a leading organization devoted to the promotion of scientific research in basic and applied physics, has chosen Silicon Graphics Inc. to upgrade its technical computing equipment in order to optimize research results.
DICP is conducting basic research in two lines of materials science. The first, condensed matter physics, studies such phenomena as the electronic response of surfaces, solids and nanostructures. The second, polymers and non-crystalline materials, involves the study of the motions and relaxation of molecules within polymers and glass forming systems, such as super-cooled liquids. The research could lead to new material production processes, or even completely new materials, for future use in industrial and consumer products.
Both areas involve data-intensive calculations that can degrade application performance in commodity server solutions. To optimize that performance, DIPC deployed an SGI Altix server powered by 32 Intel Itanium 2 processors and running the Linux operating system earlier this year.
"DIPC researchers continually increase their computational requirements. Therefore, to reduce data and program migration costs, the short- to medium-term computing requirements of researchers will need to incorporate new systems that are highly compatible with those in use at the Computing Center," said Txomin Romero, director of DIPC Computer Center. "SGI systems are perfect for this integration, enabling DIPC researchers to dramatically increase time to insight and discovery by accelerating calculations and results. Overall, this reduces the cost of the investigation."
"SGI Altix meets the stability, flexibility, robustness and ease-of-use requirements that the Center requires of all its computing resources, said Romero. "In addition, the system architecture of the SGI Altix really gets the most out of the Itanium 2 processors for optimum application performance and throughput."
Narcis Fornes, SGI business development manager for the academic and research markets in Spain, noted that the relationship between SGI and the Foundation was initiated two years ago. "DIPC has met the computing needs of its researchers with the SGI NUMAflex shared-memory technology. The installation of the Altix is an excellent reference for researchers from other Centers, who can verify the huge possibilities that these systems offer."
DIPC had previously installed an SGI Origin compute server for use in polymer and non-crystalline solids research. The addition of the new SGI Altix system integrates easily into their existing hybrid computing environment for added computational capacity in this field of research as well.
For more information on the Foundation's research visit http://dipc.ehu.es/dipc/research_lines.htm .
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