The AWE is responsible for the provision of nuclear warheads to support the UK's nuclear deterrent, Trident. This encompasses the initial concept, assessment and design of the warheads, through component manufacture and assembly, in-service support, decommissioning and then disposal.
The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty prohibits any test that produces any nuclear yield underground, underwater, in the atmosphere or in space. AWE must therefore continually develop methods to verify the safety and reliability of nuclear warheads through a science-based programme. The new systems will further boost AWE's sophisticated scientific and technological capabilities.
Building on SGI's existing relationship with AWE for more than 12 years, the two SGI ICE XA systems will provide AWE with even greater scale and flexibility to complete scientific modelling at higher resolutions and faster processing speeds than ever before.
"High performance computing is a critical aspect of AWE, underpinning the vast majority of our science- based programme, so we're continually looking for ways to enhance and support the work conducted", stated Paul Tomlinson, head of high performance computing at AWE. "Following the successful installation of our last supercomputing system from SGI, we turned to the company once again to help us take the next step in advancing our high performance computing capabilities. We're confident that with the purchase and eventual installation of the new ICE XA systems it will enable us to quickly advance research and development so that we can continue to underwrite the safety and effectiveness of the Trident warhead in the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty era."
This will be one of the first customer installations globally of SGI ICE XA, taking energy efficiency and flexible packaging to new levels. The system features SGI's new E-Cell warm water cooling technology along with optional flexible extension capabilities for accelerators and storage. Users will benefit from a high performance computing system with industry leading energy efficiency that has been specifically designed to run complex workloads at petaflop speeds.
As part of the new contract SGI will also provide AWE with an extensive service component that includes a dedicated on-site customer support person, full project management and an extensive installation team. All of which will provide for the successful integration of the new ICE XA systems and the seamless migration of applications.
"For each project we work on there is always a one-team approach between SGI and AWE. SGI has consistently demonstrated leadership in enabling the fast deployment and ongoing support of high performance computing systems. The professionalism and adaptability of the team at SGI has always managed to meet and exceed our expectations, even with particularly complex projects", Paul Tomlinson concluded.
"We are honoured that AWE has once again selected an SGI solution to meet their demanding requirements for high performance computing technologies and services", stated Jorge Titinger, president and CEO of SGI. "We have developed a longstanding and collaborative partnership with AWE. A fundamental component of our relationship with AWE is based on our world-class services capabilities, which truly differentiate SGI from our competition. We look forward to once again working in very close partnership with the onsite AWE team to deliver our new ICE XA systems."