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SGI supercomputers help build Trident nuclear warheads

SGI ICE X systems will be used for weapons research and scientific modeling
Fri Jun 20 2014, 13:46
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SGI ANNOUNCED that the UK Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) concluded acceptance of three SGI ICE X systems in a formal ceremony on Friday.

The ceremony marked AWE's acknowledgment that the SGI supercomputer systems are fully operational.

AWE builds and maintains warheads for the UK's Trident submarine nuclear deterrent. This covers the entire life cycle of nuclear warheads, from initial concept, assessment and design through component manufacture and assembly, in-service support, decommissioning and disposal.

The Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty prohibits tests that produces any 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.

"It’s critical that advanced high-performance computing systems underpin our science program, and SGI’s supercomputing systems are enabling us to quickly advance research and development. Crucially, this means we can continue to underwrite the safety and effectiveness of the Trident warhead in the comprehensive test ban treaty era," said Paul Tomlinson, head of High Performance Computing at AWE.

"From the very outset there was a one-team approach between SGI and AWE. We are very happy with the professionalism and adaptability of SGI to meet and exceed our expectations throughout this complex project."

SGI said that its ICE X supercomputer systems were subjected to a series of stringent acceptance tests and reliability runs. The firm added that the performance achieved throughout the testing not only met, but in many cases exceeded, SGI's performance commitments.

"As is often the case with critically important supercomputers of this magnitude, the project was subject to a demanding delivery timeline. The dedication and expertise of our onsite services team working in close partnership with AWE ensured we completed acceptance ahead of the agreed timetable," said SGI CEO and president Jorge Titinger.

"Our services capabilities differentiated SGI in the bidding process and we went above and beyond to deliver on our promises."

He added, "Our continued commitment to AWE ensures they can address the future of nuclear weapons, and safely, strategically advance a range of scientific challenges. The SGI ICE X systems are scalable and flexible, enabling AWE to run a wide range of applications and improve scientific modeling." µ


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