December 21, 2007
BERLIN and SUNNYVALE, Calif., Dec 19 -- Under a new contract signed this month, SGI will equip the North German Group for High- and Highest-Performance Computers (HLRN, www.hlrn.de) with a new SGI Altix supercomputer complex 60 times more powerful than HLRN's current HPC resource.
Within the framework of a new cooperative project, the six German states of Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Schleswig-Holstein have agreed to pool their resources, along with funds from the federal government, to purchase the new system, known as "HLRN-II."
The two-phase installation includes approximately 25,000 processor cores: some 12,500 cores will be deployed at the HLRN's facility in Berlin, with the remaining 12,500 installed at the HLRN's facility in Hannover. The initial SGI Altix ICE and SGI Altix XE systems will be deployed on the premises of the HLRN system's operators: the Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum fur Informationstechnik in Berlin (ZIB, www.zib.de) and the Regionales Rechenzentrum fur Niedersachsen (RRZN, www.rrzn.uni-hannover.de) in the spring of 2008. Both systems will be connected via a rapid data line: the so-called "HLRN Link." The two system complexes in Hannover and Berlin will be closely integrated and interconnected to create a unified overall system (one-system characteristic).
After the second phase of expansion has been completed, the HLRN's new supercomputer complex will have a maximal performance of 312 teraflops per second. This means that the North German Computer Group will own and operate one of the world's highest-capacity systems.
Only one system with a higher maximal performance is listed on the current roster of the world's Top500 supercomputers. All in all, the German complex will have at its disposal more than 90 terabytes (TB) of main memory and 2.3 petabytes of SGI InfiniteStorage storage capacity.
The project's first phase of expansion is planned for March 2008. The second phase of expansion will be subdivided into two portions, which are scheduled for the end of 2008 and for September 2009. During each expansion phase, a Massively Parallel Processing System, a Symmetric Multiprocessing System and a Global File System will be delivered and installed. SGI is the contractual vendor of both HLRN sites, where it will provide the corresponding solutions. As in all SGI server systems, the HLRN system complex will likewise exclusively use Intel processors. Intel's technological leadership in the development of processors is a major contributor toward the success of the project.
SGI has distinguished itself as a supplier with a clear focus on the HPC market. The company's flexibility and expertise, along with its technological leadership in high-performance computing, were principal factors leading to the decision in its favor. The new supercomputer complex will significantly strengthen the competitive position of North German advanced research in diverse fields including environmental and climatic research, geological, coastal and oceanic research, the biological sciences, shipbuilding, quantum chemistry, and the engineering sciences.
"The HLRN-II represents a tremendous advance for basic research in northern Germany. We're pleased that the Regional Computer Center of Lower Saxony will also contribute its services to Leibniz University Hannover in the future," said Prof. Gabriele von Voigt, managing director of the Regional Computer Center of Lower Saxony. "With the new SGI Altix system, the HLRN Group will be equipped, for the first time, with more than 25,000 processor cores," said Herr Prof. Alexander Reinefeld, ZIB Berlin.
Robert Ubelmesser, managing director of Silicon Graphics GmbH, Germany, says, "With the signing of this contract, the HLRN's users will have at their disposal performance of more than 312 TFlop/s. In addition to the more than 312 TFlops/s performance another trailblazing goal of HLRN's concept is an integrated total system distributed over two locations. This concept makes it possible to combine existing infrastructure in order to take into account the dramatically increasing demands which future high-performance computers will make on the infrastructure of computer centers, especially with regard to electrical supply and cooling."
The call for bidders, in accord with the "negotiation method" for allocation of public-sector commissions, took place under the aegis of the Regional Computer Center of Leibniz University Hannover (RRZN). A lengthy and tough competition lasting nearly half a year preceded today's decision. The HLRN-II will replace the previous IBM system.
SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI delivers a broad range of high-performance server, visualization and storage solutions along with industry-leading professional services and support that enable its customers to overcome the challenges of complex data-intensive workflows and accelerate breakthrough discoveries, innovation and information transformation. SGI helps customers solve significant challenges, whether it's enhancing the quality of life through drug research, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate change, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and can be found on the Web at www.sgi.com.
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