Deskside visualisation system
SGI has released a deskside model of the Silicon Graphics Prism visualisation system. It has up to 24GB of memory and two full bandwidth graphics pipelines. For oil and gas research, the system enables seismic analysts to view 20GB of data in a single session. The system is ideal for multiple-attribute tasks, enabling faster and more quantitative analysis of potential reservoirs. It speeds memory-intensive tasks like core tracing.
For scientific research it allows researchers to interactively study large data sets such as molecules, cosmology models and simulated drug interactions all at once, rather than working with segmented data sets.
Computer-aided engineering (CAE) environments can enhance productivity with the new system, which enables engineers to view and analyse more time steps in a fully interactive workspace. For more granular analysis, two graphics pipelines give the system the ability to support dual projection and stereo viewing.
Engineers and researchers can drive displays with up to 10 million combined pixels, as the system's dual ATI FireGL graphics processors offer the ability to simultaneously serve four full bandwidth channels. Single or dual Intel Itanium 2 processors allow the system to perform complex calculations locally, easing the burden placed on compute servers.
Larger workgroups also benefit from the new system, which they can use in a visual area network (VAN) environment to share data and resources for faster, more efficient collaboration. The system is also an ideal engine for low-cost SGI Reality Center implementations, delivering a fully interactive visualisation solution offering high resolution.
The system can run IRIX applications with significant performance improvements over prior systems. Through QuickTransit software, IRIX applications can run concurrently with Linux applications. QuickTransit is a hardware virtualisation technology which provides a dramatic improvement in price/performance without the need for recompiling applications. The Silicon Graphics Prism system uses QuickTransit to provide instant access to more than 140 key IRIX utilities bringing a rich and powerful extension to the standard Linux user environment.
The deskside model provides an affordable entry point to the flexible SGI visualisation ecosystem or an easily deployable yet powerful addition to an existing SGI installation. It is capable of scaling up to 16 graphics pipelines, 6.1TB of memory and 256 processors.