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SGI Fields a Personal Supercomputer

The Octane III can be stuffed with 80 cores and nearly 1TB of memory

The recently reconstituted SGI Monday wheeled out the Octane III, its first personal supercomputer, basically a high-performance deskside cluster for office environments that supports distributed technical computing applications.

Your typical workstation has only eight cores and a moderate amount of memory. The Octane III, on the other hand, can be stuffed with 80 cores and nearly 1TB of memory.

IDC says there's a growing demand for high-performance deskside supercomputers and that the Octane III suits both the entry-level HPC technical server market and the desktop workstation market.

The Octane III ships as a factory-tested, pre-integrated platform for fluid dynamics, quantum mechanics, molecular dynamics, seismic processing, data analytics, rendering, visualization and computer-aided design, among other things.

The widget can be configured with the latest Intel single- and dual-socket nodes. Figure, say, 10 dual-socket quad-Xeon 5500 nodes; one dual-socket quad-Xeon 5500 with advanced Nvidia graphics and/or GP-GPU card support; 19 single-socket quad- Xeon 3400 nodes; or 19 single-socket dual-core Atom-based nodes of all things.

There's supposed to be a wide selection of performance, storage, graphics, GP-GPU and integrated networking options. It's supposed to yield the same power efficiencies inherent in SGI Eco-Logical compute designs.

Octane III comes on a pedestal in a one-by-two-foot form factor and is said to be whisper-quiet, with easy-to-use features, low maintenance requirements and support for standard office power outlets.

SGI claims it's enabling "a new era of personal innovation in strategic science, research, development and visualization" and "workgroup productivity outside the data center." Intel's thinking faster discovery and quicker simulations.

It supports Microsoft HPC Server 2008, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating systems. Linux configurations include SGI ProPack and ISLE cluster management software.

It's immediately available in Xeon 5500 and Atom configurations. Pricing starts at $7,995.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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