SGI wins Los Alamos sale

The Department of Energy's Los Alamos National Laboratory has purchased a visualization system worth $1.7 million from Silicon Graphics Inc., Mountain View, Calif., the company announced Monday.

The sale is the first for SGI's new line of visualization computers.

The purchase is being made through the Department of Energy's Stockpile Stewardship Program, which oversees the Advanced Simulation and Computing Initiative. The New Mexico laboratory will use SGI's Onyx4 UltimateVision computers to analyze America's nuclear stockpile.

According to SGI, the Onyx4 UltimateVision computer offers greater performance than previous SGI visualization systems. Introduced this month, the computers start at about $45,000 each, which the company claims is about a fifth the price of earlier SGI visualization systems. SGI said the new system features the ability to process terabyte-sized data files through multiple processors and memory sharing technologies. Los Alamos National Laboratory's configuration will have 80 processors

"Researchers at Los Alamos are confronted with enormous data sets. The scalability and throughput of Onyx4 provides new technology to visualize those data sets, and can rapidly deliver granular-level results," said Bob Tomlinson, the simulation support manager at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In addition to use in government physics laboratories, SGI also sees the computers being used for homeland security. For example, they can help inspect cargo containers leaving and entering U.S. ports.

SGI Federal, a subsidiary of SGI based in Silver Spring, Md., oversaw the sale to Los Alamos.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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