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Institute of Cancer Research selects supercomputer

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SGI has announced that the London-based Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), Europe’s leading cancer research centre, has selected SGI Altix UV to support its future life-saving research. Altix UV is based on based on Intel Xeon processors (codenamed Nehalem-EX). The ICR joins the growing list of globally significant high performance computing (HPC) facilities embracing Altix UV as the future of open, high performance, big-memory supercomputing. Altix UV will provide the ICR with a massively-scalable shared-memory system to process its growing data requirements, including hundreds of terabytes of data for biological networks, MRI imaging, mass-spectrometry, phenotyping, genetics and deep-sequencing information across thousands of CPUs.

'The Altix UV supercomputer will allow extremely large, diverse data sets to be processed quickly, enabling our researchers to correlate medical and biological data on an unprecedented scale,' said Dr Rune Linding, cellular and molecular logic team leader at the ICR. 'Eventually, this will lead to network-based cancer models that will be used to streamline the process of drug development.'

SGI Altix UV supports up to 16 terabytes of global shared memory in a single system image. It remains highly efficient at scale for applications ranging from in-memory databases to a diverse set of data and compute-intensive HPC applications. As a result, Altix UV is the only hardware solution equipped to meet the vast data processing requirements of the ICR.

'Altix UV will allow HPC customers like the ICR to think differently and solve problems that cannot be solved on other HPC platforms,' said Rod Evans, vice president of sales for Northern Europe at SGI. 'We are delighted to be working with the ICR to provide this unique technology required to process the huge amounts of cancer-related data generated in medical research.'

'Systems biology demands massive integration of extremely large data sets. Large shared memory should enable us to handle such data at a much higher speed and with a greater focus on the biological questions at hand,' said Peter Rigby, chief executive professor at ICR. 'Altix UV should significantly help our work in this new, exciting area of cancer research.'