dlloyd writes "SGI has just publicly announced the Altix 3000 series of computers that can scale from 4 to hundreds of processors, with up to 64 processors per single system image. Processors each come in a C brick that has 4 CPUs. I/O is done though IX and PX bricks (12 PCI slots per brick, IX bricks have a base I/O controler and two ultra 160 disks inside), just like on the Origin 3900 series. Anything more than 8 CPUs (2 C bricks) is connected by R bricks, which route the NumaLink packets between nodes. The NumaLink network is good for an aggregate 6.4 gigabytes/sec to *each* node. That scales as you add more C and R bricks. Basically, you can think of this as SGI's origin 3000 series, except that it runs Linux and has Itanium2 processors. The performance and scalability is like nothing that has ever run Linux and is *far* ahead of the competition. For those of you who wonder why anyone would need a 64 processor Linux machine, many scientific and technical customers prefer running their code on large, single system image machines. Large single system image machines are also less labor intensive to maintain and admin, plus they work much better on code that needs to share memory and pass messages between threads (even myrinet and mpi is glacial compared to the SGI numalink network and running code multithreaded)."
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