November 17, 2015 09:00 ET

UK Atomic Weapons Establishment Successfully Installs New SGI Supercomputer

UK Defense Organisation to Advance Research and Scientific Modelling With SGI ICE XA System

MILPITAS, CA and AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Nov 17, 2015) - SGI (NASDAQ: SGI), a global leader in high-performance computing and big data, today announced that the UK's Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) has completed installation of SGI's record-breaking high performance computing (HPC) system, SGI® ICE™ XA.

The new system, comprised of two SGI ICE XA systems, integrates into AWE's existing production HPC system utilising two SGI ICE X systems. The new installation will significantly increase the organisation's supercomputing performance and enable AWE to further develop its complex scientific and technological capabilities, such as scientific modelling.

AWE is responsible for the provision of nuclear warheads to support the UK's nuclear deterrent, Trident. This encompasses the initial concept, assessment and design of the warheads, through component manufacture and assembly, in-service support, decommissioning and then disposal.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty prohibits any test that produces a nuclear yield underground, underwater, in the atmosphere or in space. AWE must therefore continually develop methods to verify the safety and reliability of nuclear warheads through a science-based programme.

A long-standing SGI customer, AWE is one of the first organisations worldwide to deploy SGI's ICE XA system, which features SGI's E-Cell warm water cooling technology. Designed specifically to run high complexity workloads at petaflop speeds, SGI ICE XA also delivers increased power and cooling efficiency as well as performance density and will deliver a marked improvement in efficiency for AWE.

"Our leading scientific programme is underpinned by the advanced capabilities of SGI's high performance computing systems, which enable the enhancement and support of the work conducted at AWE. Following yet another successful installation from SGI, our supercomputing system will enable us to continue advancing our science-based programme and crucially allow us to continue underwriting the safety and effectiveness of the Trident warhead in the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty era," commented Paul Tomlinson, Head High Performance Computing at AWE.

The SGI ICE XA system has been subject to a series of stringent acceptance tests and reliability runs which is the culmination of a smooth installation at AWE, delivered on time. The performance achieved throughout the testing, not only met, but in many cases exceeded SGI's performance capabilities. The SGI ICE XA platform has already achieved a number of successive world record benchmarks including Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC) MPI2007 benchmarks for the Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 v3 processor, making SGI ICE the world's most powerful distributed-memory supercomputer.

"ICE XA is the 6th generation of our industry leading HPC ICE platform. The successful deployment of ICE XA at AWE shows the continued upgradability and investment protection of the ICE platform through multi generations," said Jorge Titinger, president and CEO of SGI. "Our long-standing relationship with AWE, spanning 12 years, has been built on the foundation that we deliver technically advanced and highly capable systems which can scale to meet the organisation's scientific needs. Our continued commitment to AWE ensures that the complexity and safety of their projects are not compromised and are able to meet the stringent requirements of the test ban treaty."

About the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE)

The Atomic Weapons Establishment has been central to the defence of the United Kingdom for more than 50 years through its provision and maintenance of the warheads for the country's nuclear deterrent, Trident. This encompasses the initial concept, assessment and design of the nuclear warheads, through component manufacture and assembly, in-service support, decommissioning and then disposal.

Around 4,500 staff are employed at the AWE sites together with over 2,000 contractors. The workforce consists of scientists, engineers, technicians, crafts-people and safety specialists, as well as business and administrative experts - many of whom are leaders in their field. The AWE sites and facilities are government owned but the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has a government-owned contractor-operated contract with AWE Management Limited (AWE ML) to manage the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the UK's nuclear stockpile. AWE ML is formed of three equal shareholders -- Serco, Lockheed Martin and Jacobs Engineering Group. For further information, visit:

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