The 411: Supermicro

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Super Micro Computer, Inc. is a motherboard manufacturer that’s expanded into systems and support infrastructure for servers. Here’s the 4-1-1.

Who: Established in 1993, Super Micro Computer, Inc. (NASDAQ: SMCI) emphasizes motherboards based on Intel’s x86 architecture, plus complete server systems utilizing Intel’s Itanium, Pentium, and Xeon microprocessors, as well as AMD’s Opteron processors.

What: Two Supermicro products are primarily of interest for high performance computing applications. First, the SuperBlade features 10 server blades, 4 switches, and 4 redundant power supplies in 7U enclosure. It supports both Intel and AMD Quad-Core/Dual-Core processors. Both Intel DP & AMD DP/MP processor-based server blades can be used in the same 7U enclosure. Second, the 1U Twin contains two dual-processor servers in a 1U chassis and supports Dual Intel Quad-Core/Dual-Core Xeon processors per node. The optional onboard InfiniBand connection is ideal for HPC clusters requiring high-speed low-latency communication between nodes.

Why (you care): With 960 processor cores, 24 Gigabit Ethernet, and 4X DDR InfiniBand, SuperBlade is a dense, energy efficient solution. The 1U Twin reduces total cost of ownership also by providing a high-efficiency power supply. The placement of two nodes in 1U also reduces the costs for chassis, power supply, cooling requirements, rack space, and IT room space.

When: Both the SuperBlade and 1U Twin have been shipping in volume. The SuperBlade with 14 blades per 7U enclosure will be available by the end of this year. 10Gb Ethernet switches for the SuperBlade will be available in Q1 2008.

Where: Super Micro’s OEM partners have had a number of wins in both the enterprise and HPTC markets, including  Fermi Lab (130 nodes), India University (144 nodes), Jet Blue, and Jefferson Lab (300 nodes). You can find them on the web at