SGI and DoD launch supercomputer spirit, the fastest system in the department

17 Jun 2013 Leipzig - The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has deployed the SGI ICE X high performance computing (HPC) system for its supercomputer Spirit, making it the 14th fastest supercomputer in the world according to TOP500. The SGI ICE X system has been deployed as part of the DoD's High Performance Computing Modernization Programme (HPCMP), which provides compute resources for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) DoD Supercomputing Research Center (DSRC).

SGI ICE X system Spirit is named after the B2 Stealth bomber and is enabling Gary Kedziora, an HPCMP PETTT Computational Materials Scientist, to implement algorithms that perform quantum mechanical simulations with computational time that scales linearly with respect to the number of atoms.

"Spirit is significantly faster than our previously available platform for running these linear-scaling calculations, which are becoming viable for production level work", stated Gary Kedziora. "This enables DoD computational material scientists to model larger and more complex materials using predictive quantum mechanical methods on thousands of SGI ICE X processor cores."

"Our customers are already flocking to the fastest system in the Department of Defense, finding that their applications are performing significantly better on the new system", stated Jeff Graham, the director of the AFRL DSRC. "SGI has delivered a system that is exceeding their standard benchmark performance on DoD applications by an average of over 27%, which translates into higher productivity for scientists and engineers across the DoD."

As one of the world's fastest distributed memory platforms, the SGI ICE X system enables Spirit with 144 TB of memory and one of the largest and fastest pure compute InfiniBand clusters. Running on standard Redhat Enterprise Linux, the SGI ICE X Spirit Supercomputer is housed in 32 M-racks and includes 2,304 (IP-115 Gemini Twin) compute blades with cold-sink technology. It features 9,216 sockets (73,728 cores) powered by Intel Xeon E5 processor 2600 series operating at 2.6 GHz and boasts a theoretical peak performance of over 1.5 petaflops, further proving its ranking on the TOP500 list. The Spirit supercomputer also leverages the SGI InfiniteStorage 5500 providing 6.72 PB of storage and operating on the SGI Lustre file system.

"By providing the technology solutions behind Spirit, SGI is further powering the work of the armed forces in the success of their missions and the safety of the men and women", stated Jorge Titinger, president and CEO of SGI. "It is with great honor to see the results of the SGI ICE X system Spirit being included in the TOP500, further validating our work together and the effective supercomputing architecture we built to address complex HPC needs."

The SGI ICE X platform helped earn SGI the position in the Visionary quadrant in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Blade Servers. With a tightly integrated Infiniband backbone, the ICE X system is ideal for tough workloads, and with advanced cooling and power solutions can supply petaflops of compute performance. In the M-cell configuration, the platform uses on-chip liquid cooling capability to allow warm-water cooling, eliminating the need for CRAC units, water chillers and towers. The liquid-cooled heat sink resides between the pair of node boards in each twin blade slot ("M-Rack" deployment) enabling the highest watt SKU support (e.g., 135W TDPs), utilizing a liquid-to-water heat exchanger that provisions the required quantity of flow for cooling and capturing 55 to 70% of heat generated on the node board.

The M-Cell also helps control acoustics, allowing the team to have a conversation in their data centre again. The SGI ICE X system provides the ultimate configuration flexibility including four different InfiniBand topologies to enable optimized performance, with the InfiniBand interconnect that now dominates the Top 100 of the TOP500 list. For example, the SGI ICE X supercomputer at Total was announced as 11th on the Top 500 list. The SGI ICE X product is also available in a standard 19-inch "D-rack" configuration, using standard front-to-back airflow with more modest processor density.

ICE X products are available today and now comes with the newly-released Intel Xeon Phi 5120D coprocessors, which can be seen at Intel's Booth #341+350 during this month's International Supercomputing Conference, June 16-20, 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. SGI will also be displaying the ICE X platform near the conference at NH Leipzig Messe, Fuggerstrasse 2, D-04158 Leipzig, meeting rooms Schoenefeld Room and Ehrenberg Room.
Source: Rackable Systems