SGI Altix Servers and Supercomputers provide core technology for Australia's APAC Grid

Shared-Memory Altix Systems a Key Part of Nationwide Grid Infrastructure

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 4, 2005 -- As grid computing leaders convene at the Global Grid Forum in Boston this week, Silicon Graphics (NYSE: SGI) today announced that its SGI(R) Altix(R) supercomputers underpin a massive grid infrastructure currently under development in Australia.

The Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing (APAC) National Grid aims to give researchers and scientists seamless access to the nation's most powerful computational and data resources. The APAC National Grid is supporting projects in six key research areas: astronomy, high-energy physics, bioinformatics, geosciences, chemistry, and earth systems.

Eight APAC research partners will make high-performance computing (HPC) resources available to grid users. Seven of those partners are able to incorporate SGI Altix supercomputers in their contributions to the grid. These include:

-- APAC National Facility located at the Australian National University This 1,680-processor SGI(R) Altix(R) 3700 system is ranked as one of the most powerful computers on earth. The Altix supercomputer already serves as a resource for more than 800 researchers and graduate students from throughout Australia.

-- Australian Centre for Advanced Computing and Communications (ac3) ac3's HPC resources include a 16-processor Altix system with 32GB of memory.

-- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) CSIRO's Altix 3700 system is powered by 128 Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processors and 244TB of memory. The Altix system also hosts a 6TB data store for systems used at CSIRO's High-Performance Scientific Computing Center (HPCC)

-- Western Australia Interactive Virtual Environments Centre (iVEC) iVEC's 160-processor SGI Altix supercomputer features 160 processors, 320GB of memory and a 12.6TB high-speed disk subsystem.

-- Queensland Parallel Supercomputing Foundation (QPSF) Located at the University of Queensland, QPSF maintains an SGI Altix 3700 Bx2 supercomputer with 64 processors and 128GB of memory, and two SGI Altix 3700 systems, one with 64 processors and 128GB of memory, and the other a 16-processor system with 32GB of memory. The University of Queensland will also make its Altix system at the Earth Systems Science Computational Center available to the grid. This Altix 3700 system currently is powered by 208 processors and 208GB of memory.

-- South Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing (SAPAC) SAPAC's "Aquila" system is a 160-processor SGI Altix 3000 system with 160GB of memory.

-- Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing (TPAC). Hosted by the University of Tasmania, this 32-processor SGI Altix system features 64GB of memory.

The most recent addition to the APAC Grid resources -- the 160-processor SGI Altix system purchased at iVEC -- delivers a 20-fold increase in computing power over iVEC's existing resource. "The Altix purchased by iVEC and CSIRO is a shared-memory system with a single pool of 320 GB of memory," Dr. Andrew Rohl, IVEC director. "Within Australia this is amongst the largest pools of memory installed in a single system. The significance of this is that each processor can access all 320GB of memory, which makes parallel programming much easier and ensures that all iVEC and WA CSIRO users will be able to solve some of the world's toughest problems by efficiently harnessing the almost 1 TeraFLOP of power in this supercomputer."

Much of the work undertaken on the APAC National Grid will involve the creation and analysis of ever-growing data sets. For instance, the grid will make Australian data sets related to oceans, atmospheres, Antarctica and the climate available to researchers. These users will have access to state-of-the-art global data sets of land surface fluxes, state variables, and related hydrologic quantities.

"SGI's Altix servers can provide a common core to underpin the APAC National Grid," said Professor John O'Callaghan, Executive Director, APAC. "Our users will be able to access not only APAC's world-ranked Altix system, but to enormously powerful systems located throughout Australia."

SILICON GRAPHICS | The Source of Innovation and Discovery(TM)

SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, Inc., is a leader in high-performance computing, visualization and storage. SGI's vision is to provide technology that enables the most significant scientific and creative breakthroughs of the 21st century. Whether it's sharing images to aid in brain surgery, finding oil more efficiently, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense or enabling the transition from analog to digital broadcasting, SGI is dedicated to addressing the next class of challenges for scientific, engineering and creative users. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and can be found on the Web at

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Ginny Babbitt

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