SGI launches new line of modular systems

SGI today announced the launch of the SGI Origin 3000 series of servers and SGI Onyx 3000 series of visualization systems, both of which utilize the SGI NUMAflex modular technology.
Written by Ariel Tam, Contributor
Buy, deploy and re-deploy building blocks to eliminate all-in-one box compromise and build the system that best suits your needs.

SINGAPORE - SGI today announced the launch of the SGI 3000 family of systems.

The SGI Origin 3000 series of servers and SGI Onyx 3000 series of visualization systems utilize the SGI NUMAflex modular technology, a "brick"- style system for constructing systems from a common set of building blocks.

The NUMAflex modular system allows users to build the optimum configuration one component at a time and adopt new technologies that map to their specific business or research needs.

System components can be upgraded individually over time and can be isolated as needed for easier servicing.

The Onyx 3000 visualization sysytems allow for visualzation of large, complex volumetric data (eg. brain-mapping), allows interactivity and realism (eg. pilot training simulation), provides bandwidth and image quality for real-time special effects (eg. broadcast), and enables interactive design (eg. photo-realistic automotive modeling).

The SGI 3000 family utilize the SGI's IRIX operating system, a 64-bit UNIX operating system. Technical applications that run on the SGI 2000 series and Silicon Graphics Onyx2 systems can run on SGI 3000 family systems without the need for recompilation.

NUMAflex technology
With NUMAflex technology, each drawer-like module in a system has a specific function and can be linked, through SGI's patented system interconnect, to other bricks of varying types to create a customized configuration.

The same bricks can be used for a continually expanding range of computing needs.

New brick types will be added to the NUMAflex modular offering for specializeds configurations (eg. broadband data streaming) and as new technologies (eg. PCI-X and Infiniband) enter the market.

The systems can be deployed in clusters or as large shared-memory systems.

"This technology represents a real revolution in thinking," said Dr Simon See, director of the Asia Pacific Technology Network, SGI. "It's analogous to when people switched from all-in-one stereo systems at home to buying components for a home-based theater. Before, you had to throw out the whole stereo because 8-track died; now you just add the DVD."

Adopters of the SGI 3000 series include the U.S. Army Engineering Development Center and NASA/Ames Research Center.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has also selected the SGI Origin 3400 as its broadband server of choice for a next-generation entertainment demonstration at SIGGRAPH 2000.

Vincent Ong, general manager, Singapore, SGI, also revealed that they are currently in talks with Hong Kong's Tom.com for order placement.

A Korean digital content provider has also placed orders for the SGI 3000 series. Shipment is expected to arrive in October.

Ong added that several companies and organisations in Singapore have expressed interest in the SGI 3000 series, but said he was not at liberty to disclose any names.

Pricing and availability
Available immediately, the system entry-level price is approximately S$107,730. A single system scales from 2 to 512 processors and up to a terabyte of memory and petabytes of online storage.

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