IBM's Reveals Itanium Systems With 160-Node Cluster

Putting to immediate work its Intel Itanium-based eServer and IntelliStation workstations, IBM will be using its recently released offerings to form a Linux supercluster at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

The supercluster – involving 160 new Itanium-based systems and being touted as the most powerful Linux supercluster in academia – will be used by scientists to study research problems, some of which are intended to demonstrate principles of Einstein’s General Relativity Theory. The cluster will be capable of up to 1 trillion calculations per second.

The second supercluster IBM has installed this year at NCSA, the Itanium-based arrangement will complement IBM’s cluster of 512 eServer x330s. Itanium is the code name for Intel’s 64-bit CPU chips, which promises a superior level of efficiency over Intel’s 32-bit chips. eServer x380, IBM's first Itanium-based server, was designed as the industry standard reference platform for Intel’s 64-bit development efforts. Available with up to four processors, the x380 delivers increased performance for data-intensive applications such as data mining and data warehousing, online transaction processing and security applications.

In addition, the x380 is available with up to 64GB of memory permitting in-memory processing of data intensive applications, which helps avoid bottlenecks. The system also includes hot swap and redundant fans and four power supplies, along with hot-swap PCI technology.

The IntelliStation Z Pro, introduced simultaneously with IBM’s Itanium-based eServer, is Big Blue’s first workstation that leverages Itanium technology. The IntelliStation will be used by the NCSA in conjunction with the University of Minnesota to run compute-intensive applications, such as finite analysis, on lower-cost platforms. IBM is also touting the workstations as a nice fit for media creators looking to design more life-like animations while reducing rendering time.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated with a new headline on Wednesday, May 30, 2001. The change was made to ensure clarity.