NASA taps SGI, Intel for supercomputer

NASA has picked Computer maker Silicon Graphics Inc. and chipmaker Intel to develop a major supercomputer based on Linux to simulate space exploration and conduct other research, SGI announced Tuesday.

SGI said the National Aeronautics and Space Administration plans to integrate 20 512-processor SGI Altix systems using Intel's Itanium 2 processors. With an eventual 10,240 processors, the Space Exploration Simulator will be among the world's largest supercomputers based on the Linux operating system, the company said.

The machine, to be housed at the Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley, will likely be one of the most powerful supercomputers. It will have twice as many processors as the machine from NEC now ranked No. 1 on a list of the 500 fastest supercomputers.

The new supercomputer is part of a NASA collaboration with SGI and Intel called "Project Columbia," which is intended to lead to breakthroughs in space exploration, global-warming research and aerospace engineering, SGI said.

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News source: c|net News.Com

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