NASA Pleiades Pictures [plus a sneak peak at ICE 8400]

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nasaEver wondered what a top-10 supercomputer platform looks like?  CNET has posted a gallery of pictures from the machine floor that houses Pleiades, their latest flagship computing platform.  The SGI ICE machine came online during a rocky period in SGI’s history, but did so with some great fanfare.

What’s more interesting is the pictures and details of the SGI ICE 8400 cabinets.  What is the 8400 you say?  Its the latest incarnation of the SGI ICE platform with the new 6-core Intel silicon under the covers.  512 cores in the ICE 8200 is now 768 cores [per cabinet] in the 8400.  SGI currently lists the IP-95 blades on their website, but does not specifically reference the ICE 8400 configuration yet.  So far, there are 32 racks of ICE 8400 in the Pleiades machine.

So where does the latest delivery from Fremont put the peak performance of Pleiades?

At NASA’s advanced supercomputing facility, at its Ames Research Center in Mountain View, Calif., the space agency maintains Pleiades, which at a current official measurement of 973 teraflops–or 973 trillion floating point operations per second–is the world’s sixth-most powerful computer.

You heard it here first, a few cabinets short of 1PF now resides at Ames. If you’re at all interested in SGI nostalgia or you simply like supercomputing pics, I suggest taking a look here.


  1. […] first major customer, as we predicted recently, is the NASA Advanced Supercomputing facility at Ames.  They’re also quoting some […]