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CNET News.com: SGI goes back to the future with new server

Aug 27, 1999, 17:24 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stephen Shankland)

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"SGI, a computer maker shaken by multiple transitions, is pinning its recovery hopes on a new computer design code-named SN-1.

The SN-1, or 'scalable node' system, is the first machine from SGI that will be able to use Intel's upcoming 64-bit Merced chip, due in the latter part of 2000. But following the same two-pronged strategy as Hewlett-Packard, the first versions of the SN-1 will be powered by SGI's current MIPS chips, said Beau Vrolyk, senior vice president of all SGI's products.1"

"The SN series eventually will supplant SGI's Origin server line, which was responsible for one of the few bright spots in SGI's recent history. The company said strong sales of the Origin servers helped bring SGI to a profitable quarter after seven in the red."

"The Origin servers are now at their sweet sales spot Vrolyk said, with both business and scientific customers. They now come with as many as 256 processors and SGI is testing out a 512-processor model."

"SGI is working hard to bring these multiple-chip features to Linux... in time for the Merced rollout.

SGI uses its own method, called cache-coherent non-uniform memory architecture, or ccNUMA, to gang together dozens of processors. IBM essentially endorsed the viability of the method when it acquired Sequent, but Vrolyk said Sequent's design isn't able to transfer information to and from memory as fast as SGI's design."

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