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SGI Announces ICE 8400

sgi_newSGI announced their latest addition to the ever-popular ICE integrated cluster line.  The ICE 8400 bumps the supported silicon from Intel Nehalem-EP to Intel 5600 series Westmere.  The bump in silicon delivers a bump in processor density 1,536 cores per cabinet.  They’ve also upgraded the primary messaging interconnect to quad data rate Mellanox ConnectX-2 Infiniband.

Altix ICE 8400 eliminates the need for proprietary processors and operating systems,” said Mark J. Barrenechea, SGI CEO. “Customers will be able to deploy the world’s largest and fastest clusters on open and standard technologies by using our latest generation of Altix ICE solutions.”

The fourth generation of Altix ICE is a perfect marriage of Intel and SGI collaborative technology,” said Richard Dracott, general manager of high performance computing at Intel. “SGI Altix ICE 8400 leverages the energy-efficient performance of the Intel(R) Xeon(R) processor 5600 series to enable high density solutions for the world’s top supercomputing centers. Intel has worked in close engineering cooperation with SGI to enable this, and we are excited to see this product in the market.”

They’re differentiating themselves from the previous ICE 8200 series with a mixture of Infiniband options.  Previously, you had a choice of only one HCA.  The 8400 series allows customers to configure single port, dual port or two single port ConnectX-2 HCAs [depending on the application].

The first major customer, as we predicted recently, is the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility at Ames.  They’re also quoting some impressive SPEC_mpi numbers:

SGI has submitted a world record SPECmpiL_2007 result of 51.3 for Altix ICE 8400 on the SPEC MPI2007 benchmark. This eclipsed the previous record of 43.3 set by the SGI(R) Altix(R) ICE 8200 platform, and is a testament to the efficiency and scalability of Altix ICE when it comes to the MPI-driven workloads commonly found in HPC environments.

For more info on the latest ICE platform, read their full release here.

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