In recent years, SGI has enhance(d) its line of servers (including some supercomputers) based on the  Scalable Node... that uses cache-coherent non-uniform memory access (CC-NUMA). In an SN system, processors, memory, and a bus- and memory-controller are coupled together into ... a node, usually on a single circuit board. Nodes are connected by a high-speed interconnect called NUMAlink (originally branded CrayLink). There is no internal bus, and instead access between processors, memory, and I/O devices is done through a switched fabric of links and routers. more

 


Silicon Graphics Workstations


Definition:  A Silicon Graphics Workstations are high end engineering microcomputers manufactured by the company Silicon Graphics, Inc. 

 

SG Workstations
 


SGI or Silicon Graphics, Inc. is based at Mountain View, California. It was once among the leading manufacturers of high-end servers, workstations and visualization systems.

Early SGI products, like the IRIS 1000, handled only graphics display and needed the support of a 32-bit computer. Subsequent developments had SGI move into the substantially more powerful RISC microprocessors. These powered later SGI workstations and made them the world's premier hardware for 3D graphics work. Whether the 3D work was advertisements or movies the ubiquitous SGI workstation is what was generally used in its creation.

SGI and SGI workstations also played a large part in the evolution of OpenGL, a standard widely used in most graphics related hardware and software today.

The increasing power of home desktops, and their ability to handle large and complex graphics applications has hit SGI's core business and eroded profitability on graphics workstations. It is expected that SGI's re-invention as a company that builds reliable and scalable enterprise hardware - like servers - should see them in good stead in the future. The term "SGI workstation" may eventually become synonymous with cutting edge server hardware.

Note: The changes in SGI's main market eventually pushed the company to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May 2006.
Some sample SGI workstations from 2006:

Silicon Graphics Tezro This high-performance workstation platform sets new standards for desktop performance and dependability for multiprocessing, visualization and digital media. The Tezro is designed to deliver advanced performance needed by scientists, engineers, designers, film producers, etc. It is powered by up to four MIPS processors in sophisticated high bandwidth architecture.

Silicon Graphics Fuel This visual workstation offers a good price to performance ratio and maximizes the performance of desktop applications. It is designed to offer a high level of performance for applications in government and defense, energy, media, manufacturing the sciences, etc. It is based on the latest MIPS R16000 processor and the VPro 3D graphics system for IRIX, in new high-bandwidth architecture.

Silicon Graphics Prism This interactive visualization platform is designed to provide unmatched performance for applications like car design, maximizing oil recovery from an existing field, finding new drugs, medical diagnosis, weather forecasting, engineering, defense and intelligence applications, etc. The Prism uses the Linux OS, Intel Itanium 2 CPUs and ATI FireGL GPUs. Differentiated architecture provides high performance and scalability.