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Universite de Montreal Researchers Simulate World's Largest Heart Model Using SGI Technology
Date:1/15/2008

1.2TB SGI Altix Shared Memory System Runs 'Heart Model of the Future'

Today, Accelerating Researchers' Time To Insight

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- In the quest to discover how the mechanisms of disease work, researchers at the Universite de Montreal (UdM) have run the largest mathematical simulation of a heart ever assembled -- a 2 billion element model -- on a high-performance computing system from SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC). The new UdM model is up to 1,000 times more detailed than previous models, enabling new scientific discoveries that would never be possible via observation alone.

Until recently, the largest heart models in the world had at most a few million elements. Over the last nine months, Dr. Mark Potse and Dr Alain Vinet, both affiliated with the Research Center of Sacre-Coeur Hospital and the Biomedical Engineering department at UdM, began running 100 to 120 million-point models as part of their heart disease research on an SGI(R) Altix(R) 4700 system, believed to be the largest shared memory computing system in Canada. They regularly use 60 of the 768 Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processors running on the SGI Altix which, as part of the Quebec Network for High-Performance Computing (RQCHP), is shared by many researchers from across Canada.

In late October, Potse and Vinet had the opportunity to run their custom electrocardiography (ECG) code to solve the largest, most detailed heart model ever, using the entire SGI Altix system and 1.2TB of shared memory. Originally written by them on an older SGI system and ported to the SGI Altix system's Linux(R) environment in 2003, the ECG code made the leap from 120 million points to 2 billion with ease.

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