SGI has raised the standards of FPGA process rates, unleashing a supercomputer configuration that touts 70 FPGA—marking the largest FPGAs system to date.
But the new system is not exactly all talk. According to SGI, the RASC completed a standard bioinformatics application more than 900 times faster than a traditional cluster can—cutting 33 minutes off the normal task time.
"Previously FPGA supercomputers have been custom-built at very high cost," said Bill Mannel, SGI's director of marketing for servers. "The SGI RASC system, in contrast, was built with off-the-shelf components in a short period of time and at less than half the cost of the largest of those custom supercomputers. This represents how SGI is bringing its core capabilities in the high-performance computing industry into the reconfigurable compute space."
SGI expects this system to greatly enhance the productivity of data-intensive applications in industries such as oil and gas exploration, defense and intelligence, bioinformatics, medical imaging, and broadcast media. This upgrade marks the fourth-generation of RASC technology.