Tour of NASA's Pleiades

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With video, Shazam!  EETimes, yesterday, had the pleasure of attending the official launch of the Pleiades machine at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility in Mountain View, CA.  Pleiades constitutes a major architecture shift away from its older sister, Columbia.  The shift from Itanium to Xeon, however, seems to be paying dividends already as it debuted at #3 on the Top500.

For those interested in all the nitty gritty details, here goes.  The SGI ICE-based system includes over 12,000 quad-core Intel Harpertown chips connected with one of the largest Infiniband fabrics in existence.  For the topology-aware in the audience, its a dual-plane 10-D hypercube.  That’s two independent 4X-DDR Infiniband host ports per node.  Twenty-one miles of Infiniband cables and roughly 100 cabinets later, you get Pleiades.

EETimes was also lucky enough to get a video interview with Robert [Bob] Ciotti, chief architect of NASA’s advanced systems facility.  You can view the three minute interview here.

For more info, read the full article here.