NASA Ames Selects SGI UV As 'Big Brain' for Research
May 24, 2013

NASA Ames Selects SGI UV As 'Big Brain' for Research

FREMONT, CA — NASA's Ames Research Center has selected an SGI UV 2000 shared-memory system to support more than 1,000 active users around the country who are doing research for earth, space and aeronautics missions.

Installed early this year at the NASA Advanced Supercomputing (NAS) facility at Ames, Moffett Field, California, Endeavour is a shared-memory system that took the place of the Columbia supercomputer. Named in honor of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, the last orbiter built during NASA's Space Shuttle Program, this new system is based on the latest Intel Xeon processor E5-4600 product family.

This processing power, combined in a large, shared-memory cluster, allows Endeavour to provide more high-end computing resources for users while occupying just 10 percent of the previous Columbia system's floor space. Endeavour will provide large, shared memory capability and will enable solutions for many NASA science and engineering applications, including simulation and modeling of global ocean circulation, galaxy and planet formation, and aerodynamic design for air and space vehicles.

"A portion of our current code base requires either large memory within a node or utilizes Open MP as the communication software between tens to hundreds of processors," said William Thigpen, high-end computing project manager at the NAS facility. "The largest portion of Endeavour is able to meet the large shared memory requirement with 4TB of addressable memory and can apply over 1,000 cores against an Open MP application."

The new Endeavour system includes a total of 1536 cores and 6TB of global shared memory. NASA Ames has an existing community of users who could not easily transition to MPI programming models, and the previous system needed to be replaced by a new platform to support this community. Today, user productivity has improved, and the machines are busy.

"NASA scientists are leading the way in studying climate and earth sciences," said Jorge Titinger, president and CEO of SGI. "This is important work that affects current and future generations. SGI is proud to partner with NASA to provide the necessary infrastructure to enable its research."

"The Endeavor System has a compelling scientific mission that requires advanced capabilities in memory size, processing capability and efficiency," said Raj Hazra, vice president and general manager of Intel Technical Computing Group. "Intel provides the essential computing technology to help SGI's innovative system launch these critical scientific missions into orbit through the Intel Xeon E5-4600 family of products."