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.

Analysis and opinion

Robert Roe investigates some of the European projects focusing on preparing today’s supercomputers and HPC programmers for exascale HPC


The Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) at Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany has been operating supercomputers of the highest performance class since 1987. Tim Gillett talks to Norbert Attig and Thomas Eickermann


Gemma Church investigates how simulation and modelling de-risks the detection and extraction of geothermal energy resources


Robert Roe investigates the importance of upgrading legacy laboratory informatics systems and the benefits this provides to scientists