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January 25, 1998

SGI BRINGS CRAY’S MAINFRAME UNICOS AND IRIX UNIX CLOSER

By CBR Staff Writer

Cray Research Inc is offering new higher-performance message- passing libraries to users of its Unicos supercomputer operating system which for the first time enables some application tasks to be distributed across Cray systems and Irix-based servers from its Silicon Graphics Inc parent. SGI is gradually integrating the high-end functions of its Irix Unix with the Unix-derived Unicos, and is aiming to create a single, highly-scalable Unix based upon the Cellular Irix currently being blended from SGI’s 64-bit Irix Unix SVR4 kernel, Cray’s Unicos/mk and Stanford University’s partitioned Hive architecture. Irix functions being made available for users of Unicos 9.3 or higher include a bulk data service extension for NFS enabling the use of gigabit network hardware, new higher-performance implementations of MPI and PVM message-passing libraries enabling MPI programs to run across mixed Irix and Unicos nodes and new clustering services. In addition to further iterations of the system, T3E users will also be able to recompile applications to run on a new MIPS RISC-based ccNUMA scalable node called SN1 which SGI is to deliver sometime after 1998. SN1 – an evolution of the 128-way Mips R10000-based Cray Origin2000 – will use a new version of SGI’s S2MP interconnect architecture. By then the systems should be running an integrated Cellular Irix operating system. A post-2000 SN2 line will be the migration route for customers of a next- generation T90 vector processor now under development – as well as J90 users – which will incorporate a MIPS-based vector engine.

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