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Press Release

SGI Announces Next-Generation Altix ICE Scale-Out Supercomputer


New Altix® ICE 8400 Achieves World Record MPI Performance

FREMONT, Calif. — May 5, 2010 — SGI (NASDAQ: SGI), a global leader in HPC and data center solutions, today announced the immediate availability of Altix ICE 8400, the next generation of the award-winning Altix ICE scale-out high performance computing (HPC) blade platform. SGI also announced today it has submitted world record breaking SPEC benchmark performance results with Altix ICE 8400, demonstrating its readiness to implement multi-petascale supercomputers.

Altix ICE 8400 contains significant enhancements over prior Altix ICE generations, including through and through Quad Data Rate InfiniBand interconnect. SGI's elegantly designed integrated backplane sports up to three times the link-to-node bandwidth relative to competitive QDR InfiniBand clusters to maximize performance where most job traffic occurs. Altix ICE 8400 supports up to 128 processors (1,536 cores) per cabinet with support for 130W CPU sockets. Three on-board Mellanox® ConnectX-2 InfiniBand HCA compute blade configurations are also supported, and include single-port, dual-port or two single-port chipsets.

"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."

Altix ICE 8400, with its innovative blade design, easily and affordably scales to up to 65,536 compute nodes with integrated single or dual plane InfiniBand backplane interconnect. Open x86 architecture makes it equally simple to deploy commercial, open source or custom applications on completely unmodified Novell® SUSE® or Red Hat® Linux® operating systems.

Altix ICE 8400 easily meets the needs of the world's largest supercomputing deployments. Recognized for its design win at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility at Ames Research Center, SGI helps Pleiades Supercomputer, the world's largest InfiniBand cluster, scale with an additional 32 cabinets of Altix ICE 8400 to nearly a petaflop. The system fully leverages SGI's hypercube topology to enable seamless cabinet-level upgrades without any production downtime, saving millions of core hours in the process.

"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® Xeon® 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."

Altix ICE Performance Leadership
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® Altix® 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.

"Altix ICE 8400 is a significant step forward for SGI's scale-out blade computing. It is scalable to tens of thousands of nodes, and this highly flexible SGI platform is designed to economically address challenging compute problems," said Earl Joseph, IDC program vice president for high performance computing. "Like its previous Altix ICE predecessor, the Altix ICE 8400 is also designed to address data intensive computing."

Two Altix ICE Blade Enclosure Models
Altix ICE hardware architecture is based on a cabinet-level design comprised of up to four 10U blade enclosures with 16 compute blades per enclosure. Altix ICE supports hypercube, enhanced hypercube, all-to-all and fat-tree topologies, enabling each Altix ICE deployment to be as efficient as possible.

  • Altix ICE 8400EX — Dual plane, 40Gb/s InfiniBand interconnect for maximum scalability and performance.
  • Altix ICE 8400LX — Single plane 40Gb/s InfiniBand interconnect for high-value scaling.

Five Altix ICE Blade Models
Blade models span Intel® and AMD processor options, and multiple differentiated Quad Data Rate (QDR) networking options.

  • IP101 — Dual Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series CPUs with single QDR InfiniBand connectivity for single plane configurations in the Altix ICE 8400LX enclosure.
  • IP103 — Dual Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series CPUs with dual QDR InfiniBand connectivity for dual plane configurations in the Altix ICE 8400EX enclosure via a single dual-port Mellanox® ConnectX-2 chipset for compelling price/performance benefits.
  • IP105 — Dual Intel® Xeon® processor 5600 series CPUs with dual QDR InfiniBand connectivity for dual plane configurations in the Altix ICE 8400EX enclosure via two single-port Mellanox® ConnectX-2 chipsets for maximum, non-blocking performance.
  • IP106 — Dual AMD Opteron™ 6100 processors with dual QDR InfiniBand connectivity for dual plane configurations in the Altix ICE 8400EX enclosure via two single port Mellanox® ConnectX-2 chipsets for maximum, non-blocking performance.
  • IP110 — Dual AMD Opteron™ 6100 processors with dual QDR InfiniBand connectivity for dual plane configurations in the Altix ICE 8400EX enclosure via a single dual-port Mellanox® ConnectX-2 chipset for compelling price/performance benefits.

Fully Integrated Environment
SGI's comprehensive management and performance software stack is available on all Altix ICE models for a consistent user experience. This includes support for SGI® ProPack™ and SGI® Tempo™ in addition to a choice of either Novell® SUSE® or Red Hat® Linux® operating systems. SGI® InfiniteStorage systems enable a broad range of storage alternatives for high performance file-level and block-level access. Platforms such as the newly announced ISS3500 deliver cost effective options for tightly coupled compute and storage environments.

Availability and Pricing
Altix ICE 8400EX and 8400LX enclosures, and IP101, IP103 and IP105 blades with Intel® Xeon® processors, are all available immediately. The IP106 and IP110 blades with AMD Opteron™ processors are expected to ship during the third calendar quarter of 2010. Altix ICE family pricing can be provided upon request. For more information, please visit www.sgi.com/AltixICE.

Note to editors: High-resolution photos of Altix ICE 8400 are available for download at www.sgi.com/media.

About SGI
SGI is a global leader in large-scale clustered computing, high performance storage, HPC and data center enablement and services. SGI is focused on helping customers solve their most demanding business and technology challenges. Visit www.sgi.com for more information.

Contact Information:

Schwartz Communications, Inc.
Gina Titus
415-512-0770
SGIPR@schwartz-pr.com

Johnson King
Jonathan Mathias and Fiona Halkerston
+ 44 207 401 7968
SGIPR@johnsonking.co.uk

© 2010 SGI. SGI, Altix, ProPack and Tempo are registered trademarks or trademarks of Silicon Graphics International Corp. or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective holders.

SPEC and SPECmpiL are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. Competitive results are from www.spec.org as of May 5th, 2010.

This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding SGI technologies and third-party technologies that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely unduly on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future or current performance. Such risks and uncertainties include long-term program commitments, the performance of third parties, the sustained performance of current and future products, financing risks, the ability to integrate and support a complex technology solution involving multiple providers and users, and other risks detailed from time to time in the company's most recent SEC reports, including its reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q.