Mercury crams Cell computing into tiny box

Mercury crams Cell computing into tiny box

Mercury Computer Systems showed off its Cell server which crams computing power into a very small space, at the SC05 Supercomputing event in Seattle last week.

Based on four Cell Broadband Engine processors, Mercury said that its new Turismo system can crank out up to 800 GigaFlops from a box of under ten litres capacity to the desktop for high-computation rendering and imaging applications. Stack four of the boxes into a 5U system and users could enjoy 3.2 TeraFlops for applications such as centralising imaging resources in hospitals and similar environments.

It sports dual 4X InfiniBand support, plus multiple Gigabit Ethernet ports for multi-box communications and connectivity to a high-end workstation via 16x PCI Express interconnect, and runs Yellow Dog Linux from Terra Soft Solutions.

Mercury has teamed with IBM to integrate Cell technology into a range of products designed to address computationally intensive applications in aerospace and defence, seismic, semiconductor test, and medical imaging. Since June, the two organisations have been collaborating on several products, including the recently announced Dual Cell-Based Blade.

Compared to the Dual Cell-based Blade, Mercury reckoned that its Turismo will offer an alternative packaging approach, with 60 per cent denser solutions, increased I/O performance and flexibility, and significantly increased memory options.

According to Mercury's CTO, Craig Lund: "The amount of processing that Turismo is designed to provide in such a small footprint is simply astounding. We expect that our new Cell processor-based offering will truly make a difference for many customers in solving problems that require this calibre of performance density in an affordable solution."

Technology development VP Randy Dean said: "We are very excited to offer such a flexible Cell processor-based solution to our customers. The broad applicability of this product enables us to solve tough problems for some of our current customers, and also puts us to work in new markets."

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