Altix ICE

SGI has released the latest generation of its Altix ICE, a flexible, tightly integrated blade architecture based on the latest Intel Xeon (codenamed Sandy Bridge EP) processor series. This newest Altix ICE solution represents the fifth generation of the high performance computing (HPC) solution, offering numerous advancements in performance and density while addressing the ongoing need to consolidate computing cluster sprawl.

The next generation Altix ICE, with support for FDR InfiniBand, improves upon SGI's robustly designed, integrated blade system. A broader range of options for compute nodes, topology types, InfiniBand fabric design, power, and cooling are available.

The system is expected to scale to 2,304 cores in a single rack and boast several features, including: new 'building-block' blade enclosure design that offers an increase over the standard 16 to 18 blade slots and 36 compute nodes per enclosure; separable, upgradeable and independently scalable power shelves; choice of air cooling, bolt-on water cooling at the rack level, or optional liquid cooling at the compute node level; and industry standard 19-inch width SGI D-Rack and a custom rack design for high density closed loop deployment, enabling multiple data centre environment support.


For functionality and security for externalised research, software providers have turned to the cloud, writes Sophia Ktori


Robert Roe investigates the growth in cloud technology which is being driven by scientific, engineering and HPC workflows through application specific hardware


Robert Roe learns that the NASA advanced supercomputing division (NAS) is optimising energy efficiency and water usage to maximise the facility’s potential to deliver computing services to its user community


Robert Roe investigates the use of technologies in HPC that could help shape the design of future supercomputers