Hot on the heels of HP, with its xw 8300 announcement (OITJ Vol 10 N° 2), SGI is offering an optimized price/performance system targeting the Energy vertical. The new Linux-based Prism ‘deskside’ visualization system has a starting price of $8,500 and is scalable to 24GB memory and two graphics pipes.
Dual ATI FireGL
The Prism is said to be ideal for ‘multi-attribute’ tasks, enabling ‘faster and more quantitative reservoir analysis.’ Dual ATI FireGL graphics processors serve four ‘full bandwidth’ channels—driving displays with up to 10 million pixels. Available with single or dual Itanium 2 processors, units can be combined in a ‘visual area network’ (VAN) to share data and CPU resources. The unit can be configured as an entry-level SGI Reality Center.
SGI Irix applications can run concurrently with Linux applications using Transitive Corp’s QuickTransit hardware virtualization technology. QuickTransit provides access to some 140 IRIX utilities, bringing ‘rich and powerful’ extensions to Linux.
Several software houses have already ported their applications to the SGI Prism platform including Advanced Visual Systems’ AVS/Express, Earth Decision Sciences’ GoCad, Mercury Computer Systems’ Open Inventor, Tecplot and VR environments from VRCO and VRcontext.
SGI also reports further sales to the energy vertical. Marathon has added 64 more processors to its SGI Altix 3000 (total 256 processors) and an SGI VAN comprised of an eight-processor Prism system with 96GB memory and four ATI graphics pipes, an Onyx and four Vizserver licenses. Storage has been boosted by a 12.5TB CXFS shared file system and additional SAN infrastructure. In the United Arab Emirates, Zadco has opted for a 64-bit SGI Altix 350 Linux-based supercomputer for reservoir simulation.
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