Days after SGI officials said the next-generation Altix system-dubbed "Ultraviolet"-would be powered by Intel's upcoming Xeon "Nehalem EX" chips, SGI CEO Mark Barrenechea said in a blog that the company will continue developing systems powered by Itanium, and that Ultraviolet will support both Xeon and Itanium processors. However, the first Ultraviolet systems will be powered by Intel's eight-core Nehalem EX chips.
SGI might be building a new high-end
Altix system powered by Intel's upcoming "Nehalem
, but that doesn't mean the company is abandoning Itanium,
according to SGI CEO
In a blog post
July 24, Barrenechea
said that SGI will continue supporting and
developing systems that run on Intel's Itanium processor.
The blog came days after officials with SGI-Silicon
Graphics International-spoke with reporters at eWEEK and other news
organizations about the company's road map two months after Rackable Systems
bought Silicon Graphics Inc.
The officials spoke of the company's plans to continue expanding into the HPC
(high-performance computing) space with the next generation of its Altix
shared-memory systems, code-named "Ultraviolet," which they said will be
powered by the eight-core Xeon Nehalem EX processors-which are due to start
showing up in systems in 2010-rather than Itanium
eWEEK.com and other news sites reported
However, Barrenechea said in his blog that Ultraviolet will use both Nehalem
EX and Itanium processors.
"[Ultraviolet] represents the next generation of Altix, designed to utilize
both Itanium and Xeon processors," he said in his blog. "Our first priority is
to develop a Xeon version of Ultraviolet, based on the strong feedback we have
received from many customers.
"We continue to develop and expand our Altix Itanium line of products, and
Ultraviolet V1 is focused on Xeon."
Barrenechea also touted the accomplishments SGI
has had with Itanium-based processors, and said that Intel's work in developing
its QuickPath Interconnect-a common interface for Itanium and Xeon-will enable SGI
to continue to create a common systems architecture based on both chip
"The Itanium roadmap appears interesting and compelling for many years to
come," he said in his blog. "And many SGI
customers have Itanium systems. SGI will
continue to work with our current and new customers to determine the best
choice for their microprocessor needs, as we continue to leverage the best
world-class micro-processing architecture available."
Rackable closed its $42.5 million acquisition of SGI
in May and adopted the SGI moniker-though
with a slight change of "Inc." to "International"-using the Rackable name for
its line of scale-out x86 servers. Officials also put the legacy SGI
Altix ICE blade platform into the Rackable family.
The Altix line remains under the SGI
The old SGI was a Silicon
Valley pioneer that had fallen on difficult times in the Internet
age. Rackable officials, when announcing the deal, said buying the company
would enable them to expand their reach into the HPC
field and play in a more global arena.