Silicon Graphics (SGI) will today launch the Origin 3900 supercomputer, featuring 128 processors on a single rack.
The system contains 256GB of shared memory and will scale up to 512 processors, each with a maximum of 2GB memory, giving 1TB in total.
"The MIPS processor in the Origin 3900 uses a small amount of power allowing processors to be packed more densely," Warren Pratt, chief operating officer at SGI, told vnunet.com.
"This not only cuts floor space: it is getting to the point where the length of time it takes for the signal to cross the wire is a significant part of latency. He who can build the densest can also build the fastest computer."
Pratt explained that the MIPS processor uses 15-20 watts of power compared with Intel's Itanium requirement for 135 watts and others in the 80-150 watts range.
SGI has also announced its IRGO High Performance Computing (HPC) Workflow Optimization environment.
This runs on SGI's IRIX 64-bit Unix operating system to optimise system utilisation and application performance, with advanced system load balancing.
The initial market is likely to be for HPC applications such as scientific number-crunching.
The Origin 3900 is compatible with existing models in the Origin 3000 range, and uses the company's NUMAflex global shared memory architecture that allows thousands of processors to be linked.
SGI is also moving towards supporting Linux systems. CXFS, a distributed version of SGI's XFS high performance shared file system which can scale to petabytes in capacity, was recently accepted for inclusion in the upcoming Linux 2.6 kernel.
The new system will make its first appearance at the ACM/IEEE HPC and Networking Conference in the US on 19 to 21 November.
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