SiCortex wins Dev Connection "Sexiest in show" award

SiCortex wins Dev Connection "Sexiest in show" award

Summary: Here's one computer that looks like it belongs on the bridge of a starship: the SiCortex SC5832. It's this year's winner of the soon-to-be-coveted Dev Connection "Sexiest in show" award for SC07.


SC5832 from SiCortex

Here's one computer that looks like it belongs on the bridge of a starship: the SiCortex SC5832. It's this year's winner of the soon-to-be-coveted Dev Connection "Sexiest in show" award for SC07. And yes those lights do sweep across the front like a Cylon, or the star car in Knight Rider. The front even lifts up like the hood of a hot rod for easy access:

SC5832 with the top up

Under the hood you'll find a cluster of 972 nodes, each having six processors, for a total of 5,832 processors. Each processor draws a paltry 600 milliwatts of juice. The chassis can hold up to 8 TB of main memory, and the theoretical peak performance is 5.8 TFlops.

A look under the hood

Even with all that power and beauty, the whole cabinet only draws 18 kilowatts of electricity. Nodes communicate directly over a passive copper backplane. It's air cooled, and each node runs a fairly standard Linux kernel. It comes pre-installed with a full suite of development software including MPI, TAU, Vampir, TotalView, and more. To run an existing Fortran, C, or C++ MPI application, says the company, just type "make".

KITT would be jealous.

Topics: Processors, Hardware, Software Development

Ed Burnette

About Ed Burnette

Ed Burnette is a software industry veteran with more than 25 years of experience as a programmer, author, and speaker. He has written numerous technical articles and books, most recently "Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform" from the Pragmatic Programmers.

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  • Licensing costs

    This is the sort of innovation that can not happen under Windows. Apart from the fact that Windows won't cluster, can you imagine the per-processor licensing costs of 5000+ CPUs?
    • ... and the WGA issues?

      With the way MS is going, you would probably have to register each node separately under WGA too. Imagine talking to the support tech after you registered nodes 1-5, started on 6 only to be told you had run out of internet registrations with only ~967 or so left to go :-)

      • Don't Forget

        Each node will require a separate call to MS Tech support to get the reactivation key.
        • And since each node uses the other node's services...

          And since each node uses the other node's services, you'll have to pay for CALs for each node after the first.
          • OH NO Mr. BILL!

            One of my 5000+ nodes got a rootkit! AAAAARRRRRRG!
      • RE: SiCortex wins Dev Connection

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    • Licesing

      There's always a critic. Why would you want to run under windows?
      • At least learn to spell

        Why can't you spell a simple word?
  • RE: SiCortex wins Dev Connection

    Now we know what will be required to run the next version of Windows.
  • Did You See That? What's It Running?

    Oh, that's right..LINUX...

    If it was running Windows you'd have to strip the "Super" off the name.
    • SiCortex

      I like that ... straight to the point.
    • Correct as "super"

      would just come up short. :)
  • It's not a BlueGene system...

    Sexy packaging is good but it isnt the issue. Bus and Interconnect performance are, and building massive numbers of processes without equal bus-hubs is meaningless.

    We built systems similar to this 15 years ago at Unisys from Beowulf style topologies and loosely coupled infrastructure.

    So yes its a sexy package - but is it worth a page of text when NONE of the other large systems are brought out as well?

    Todd Glassey
    • Sun's is sexier

      Check out:
      • Oh my god!

        I want one of those. Even if it's only got a drinks dispenser inside. In fact I'd probably be enticed to start buying fizzy drinks if the dispensers looked like this!
  • What happened to the blog list on the right side of the front page?

    It is on the story pages, but missing from the main page. This is very inconvienent. It's been there forever!
  • RE: SiCortex wins Dev Connection

    there are no licensing costs, everything is included in the 2 million dollar price tag. It runs Dos and Windows 95 fairly quickly as well as 98 and Millenium. OK OK, but it does run Windows 2003 on one of its nodes like a bat out of _ _ _ _. Break open the piggybank. There are supposed to include an option of Bose sound with surround sound spacelike effects. Dig it!
  • RE: SiCortex wins Dev Connection

    Where does the Dilithium Crystal go?
  • RE: SiCortex wins Dev Connection

    Hmmph! I was expecting something from Metropolis.
  • Why Linux instead of Windows? EASY answer!

    There isn't enough room on the case for 5,832 processor license stickers!

    And can you just IMAGINE the screams of anguish when each and every processor has to be re-registered and re-validated because WGA burped (again)?