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Silicon Graphics and Cray Research Unveil Modular Origin Server Family

High-Bandwidth Systems Revolutionize Computer Buying Economics With Seamless Scalability

October 7, 1996

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Silicon Graphics, Inc. (NYSE:SGI) and its supercomputing subsidiary, Cray Research, Inc., today announced OriginTM, a revolutionary new server product line which dramatically extends the performance envelope of symmetric multiprocessing systems. Origin servers pioneer 21st century computing as the first products based on the company's revolutionary S2MPTM scalable, high-performance architecture, announced separately today. The Origin line scales from a single-tower system to a multi-rack 128-processor system and delivers the computational power and industry-leading I/O to exceed today's exploding data and computational requirements.

"With the S2MP architecture, Silicon Graphics has pioneered breakthrough technology in the design of scalable shared-memory multiprocessing systems," said Edward R. McCracken, chairman and chief executive officer of Silicon Graphics. "The Origin line represents the industry's broadest range of binary-compatible products, providing highly differentiated solutions to the entire spectrum of business problems facing todays dynamic enterprise."

Also today, Silicon Graphics unveiled the CrayLinkTM interconnect technology that eliminates the main bottlenecks associated with traditional symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) technology. In addition, the company introduced Cellular IRIXTM, the first truly modular operating system.

Cellular IRIX is architected to remove single points of failure and provide inherent high availability and reliability. Complementing Cellular IRIX in providing high-availability solutions is the modular Origin system hardware that has additional provisions for redundant power and cooling.

Origin servers deliver competitive advantages to businesses looking to implement emerging solutions in the World Wide Web, data warehousing, decision support and interactive scientific visualization, as well as performance for traditional scientific, engineering and commercial markets. The building block design of Origin modules enables customers to "interconnect" systems into single large systems, or to "de-connect" into multiple deployable machines for physically distributed computing as required.

Traditional multiprocessing systems are built around a design center driven by specific price or performance objectives. This approach results in multiple point products and box-swap upgrades to go from smaller to larger systems. The Origin product line is the first in the industry to eliminate design center constraints. Origin systems seamlessly scale in all aspects from one to 128 processors simply through component upgrades.

The Origin family consists of the cost-optimized Origin200TM server that scales from one to four MIPS® R10000TM processors, Origin2000TM high-performance servers that expand from one to 64 R10000 processors and CRAY® Origin2000TM supercomputing systems that scale from 65 to 128 R10000 processors. All Origin systems are binary-compatible with the CHALLENGE® and POWER CHALLENGETM series from Silicon Graphics.

Origin200 Work Group Servers

Origin200 tower systems support up to four 180 MHz MIPS R10000 processors each with 1 MB cache, up to 4 GB RAM, and sustain 1.15 GB/sec of system bandwidth. The system supports 12 3.5-inch peripheral slots providing up to 109 GB of internal storage, four 5.25-inch peripheral slots for removable media, two PCI-64 busses each with three slots and eight optional XIO slots, Silicon Graphics' high-speed I/O specification, providing up to 2.6 GB/sec of sustained I/O bandwidth. Systems come standard with one 10base-T/100base-TX ethernet interface, one 40 MB/sec UltraSCSI interface and one 20 MB/sec fast and wide SCSI interface. Drives are hot swappable and systems provide the ability for redundant cooling and power. The Origin200 system is available in standalone towers that can be rack-mounted in standard 19-inch enclosures.

"The S2MP architecture creates an environment where very large computer systems can cache huge databases entirely in memory. This provides the opportunity for data access orders of magnitude faster than disk-based I/O," said Dr. Thomas Hildebrand, vice president, Intel/MIPS products division of Oracle Corporation. "With Oracle running on large machines based on S2MP, we expect our users to experience unprecedented data warehouse and OLTP performance."

Origin2000 High-Performance Servers

The deskside server is the primary building block of the scalable Origin2000 product family. Each Origin2000 deskside system supports up to eight 195 MHz or 180 MHz MIPS R10000 processors, with 4 MB or 1 MB cache respectively. The system delivers up to 3.1 GFLOPs, up to 16 GB RAM, and has 2.5 GB/sec of sustained system bandwidth. The system comes standard with a CD-ROM drive and supports five 3.5" peripheral bays providing up to 45 GB of internal storage, 12 XIO slots providing up to 5 GB/sec of sustained I/O bandwidth and an optional PCI-64 bus with three internal slots. Systems come standard with one 10base-T/100base-TX interface, two 40 MB/sec UltraSCSI interfaces and provide the ability for redundant cooling and power. External SCSI connectivity totals 3.5 TB, and Fibrechannel connectivity totals 18.5 TB.

Up to eight building blocks in 19-inch rack enclosures can be interconnected via the CrayLink interconnect to scale to 64 MIPS R10000 processors for a peak performance of 25 GFLOPsec. The Origin2000 rack scales up to 128 GB RAM, 20 GB/sec of sustained memory bandwidth and 40 GB/sec of sustained I/O bandwidth, 14 TB external SCSI connectivity and 74 TB Fibrechannel connectivity. Cellular IRIXTM capitalizes on the modular nature of the multiple building blocks to provide high availability systems.

"We have chosen a 64-processor Origin2000 system for the heavy scientific computational work that our scientists need to perform," said Olivier Coulaud, director of the Charles Hermite Center, INRIA, France. "After careful evaluation of several competing products, we have chosen the Silicon Graphicsâ product because of its scalability, to help our scientists solve a wide range of problems in the areas of computational chemistry, computational fluid dynamics, mathematics and physics."

CRAY Origin2000 Supercomputing Servers

CRAY Origin2000 systems use the same building blocks as the Origin2000 family while dramatically extending the upper limits of SMP performance. The systems scale from 65 to 128 processors for a peak performance of 50 GFLOPs. In these larger configurations, the CrayLink interconnect technology used throughout the Origin series incorporates the innovative CRAY "Meta Router" which enables Origin systems to scale efficiently to 128 processors.

All processors in the system are 195 MHz MIPS R10000 processors, each of which has a 4 MB secondary cache. The CRAY Origin2000 system can be configured with up to 256 GB RAM, 40 GB/sec of sustained memory bandwidth and 80 GB/sec of sustained I/O bandwidth, 14 TB external SCSI connectivity and 74 TB Fibrechannel connectivity. CRAY Origin2000 systems also run on the Cellular IRIX operating system and are binary compatible with the rest of the Origin family of products. Origin2000 systems are upgradable to CRAY Origin2000 systems through simple system upgrades and the CrayLink interconnect.

The CRAY Origin2000 augments the benefits of the Origin product line with Cray Research's extensive understanding of the high-performance market. At the same time, these systems provide an excellent complement to the existing Cray Research products from the industry leading vector systems -- CRAY T90TM and CRAY J90TM -- to the world's leading highly scalable system -- CRAY T3ETM. CRAY Origin2000 systems are ideal for customers interested in breakthrough scalability levels of SMP architectures while retaining a broad third-party applications catalog and the capacity to run highly parallel applications written in SMP or message-passing programming style.


Origin200 and Origin2000 will ship this quarter. CRAY Origin2000 systems are priced from two million dollars and will ship mid-calendar year 1997.

The discussion in this news release of new products and technologies contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including the timely release to manufacturing, the availability of components from suppliers, the impact of competitive products and pricing, and the other risks detailed from time to time in the company's SEC reports, including the report Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 1996. Actual results may vary materially.

Silicon Graphics, Inc. is a leading supplier of high-performance visual and enterprise computing systems. The company's products range from low-end desktop workstations to servers and high-end Cray supercomputers. Silicon Graphics also markets MIPS microprocessor designs, Alias|WavefrontTM entertainment software and design software. The company's key markets include the World Wide Web, government, commercial, industrial and entertainment sectors. Silicon Graphics and its subsidiaries have offices throughout the world and headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Silicon Graphics, CHALLENGE and the Silicon Graphics logo are registered trademarks, and Origin, S2MP, IRIX, Origin200, Origin2000, and POWER CHALLENGE are trademarks, of Silicon Graphics, Inc. MIPS is a registered trademark, and R10000 is a trademark, of MIPS Technologies, Inc. Cray is a registered trademark, and CrayLink, CRAY T90, CRAY J90, CRAY T3E are trademarks, of Cray Research, Inc. Alias|Wavefront is a trademark of Alias|Wavefront, a division of Silicon Graphics Limited.

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