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[[Image:Sgi cube_logo.png|thumbnail|Original Cube Logo]]  
 
[[Image:Sgi cube_logo.png|thumbnail|Original Cube Logo]]  
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===First generation products===
 
===First generation products===
The first '''IRIS 1000'''-series machines (''IRIS'' standing for "Integrated Raster Imaging System") were designed to be connected to a DEC VAX computer as a graphics terminal, handling only the actual display. These were based on the Motorola 68000 microprocessor, with a motherboard design related to that of the Sun-1. After that, SGI began using the UNIX System V operating system to power the machine. Their height was reached with the '''IRIS 3130''', a complete UNIX workstation using the Motorola 68020 with an attached Weitek math coprocessor.
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The first '''IRIS 1000'''-series machines (''IRIS'' standing for "Integrated Raster Imaging System") were designed to be connected to a DEC VAX computer as a graphics terminal, handling only the actual display. These were based on the [[Motorola 68000]] microprocessor, with a motherboard design related to that of the Sun-1. After that, SGI began using the UNIX System V operating system to power the machine. Their height was reached with the '''IRIS 3130''', a complete UNIX workstation using the [[Motorola 68020]] with an attached Weitek math coprocessor.
    
The 3130 was powerful enough to support a complete 3D animation and rendering package on its own without mainframe support. With large capacity hard drives (300MB X 2), streaming tape and Ethernet, it could be the centerpiece of an animation operation.
 
The 3130 was powerful enough to support a complete 3D animation and rendering package on its own without mainframe support. With large capacity hard drives (300MB X 2), streaming tape and Ethernet, it could be the centerpiece of an animation operation.
    
===RISC era===
 
===RISC era===
With the introduction of the '''IRIS 4D''' series, SGI switched over to using the [[MIPS Computer Systems|MIPS]] [[RISC]] microprocessor architecture. These machines were correspondingly more powerful, able to address more memory and came with powerful on-board math capability. These machines made much of the SGI name as 3D graphics became more popular on television and film.
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With the introduction of the '''IRIS 4D''' series, SGI switched over to using the [[MIPS]] [[RISC]] microprocessor architecture. These machines were correspondingly more powerful, able to address more memory and came with powerful on-board math capability. These machines made much of the SGI name as 3D graphics became more popular on television and film.
    
SGI produced a broad range of MIPS-based workstations and servers during the 1990s, running SGI's version of UNIX System V, now called '''[[IRIX]]'''. These included the massive '''Onyx''' visualization systems, the size of refrigerators and capable of supporting up to 64 processors while managing up to three streams of high resolution, fully realized 3D graphics.
 
SGI produced a broad range of MIPS-based workstations and servers during the 1990s, running SGI's version of UNIX System V, now called '''[[IRIX]]'''. These included the massive '''Onyx''' visualization systems, the size of refrigerators and capable of supporting up to 64 processors while managing up to three streams of high resolution, fully realized 3D graphics.
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This meant for the first time that fast, efficient, cross-platform graphics programs could be written.
 
This meant for the first time that fast, efficient, cross-platform graphics programs could be written.
   −
To this day, OpenGL remains the only real-time 3D graphics standard to be portable across a variety of operating systems. Its main competitor ('Direct3D' from Microsoft) runs only on MS Windows-based machines.
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To this day, [[OpenGL]] remains the only real-time 3D graphics standard to be portable across a variety of operating systems. Its main competitor ('Direct3D' from Microsoft) runs only on MS Windows-based machines.
    
===ACE Consortium===
 
===ACE Consortium===
SGI was part of the early-90s Advanced Computing Environment initiative with twenty others, including Compaq, Digital Equipment Corporation, MIPS Computer Systems, Groupe Bull, Siemens AG, NEC Corporation, NetPower, Microsoft and Santa Cruz Operation to introduce workstations based on the MIPS architecture and capable of running Windows NT and SCO UNIX. The group produced the Advanced RISC Computing or ARC specification. The consortium fell apart, apparently for political rather than technical reasons.
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SGI was part of the early-90s Advanced Computing Environment initiative with twenty others, including [[Compaq]], [[Digital Equipment Corporation]], [[MIPS Computer Systems]], Groupe Bull, Siemens AG, NEC Corporation, NetPower, [[Microsoft]] and Santa Cruz Operation to introduce workstations based on the [[MIPS architecture]] and capable of running Windows NT and SCO UNIX. The group produced the Advanced RISC Computing or ARC specification. The consortium fell apart, apparently for political rather than technical reasons.
    
===Entertainment Industry===
 
===Entertainment Industry===
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In 1995, SGI purchased Alias Research and Wavefront Technologies and merged the companies into Alias|Wavefront, now known as Alias Systems Corporation. Later, in June 2004, SGI sold Alias to the private equity investment firm Accel-KKR for $57.1 million. On October 4, 2005, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) announced that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alias for $182 million in cash.
 
In 1995, SGI purchased Alias Research and Wavefront Technologies and merged the companies into Alias|Wavefront, now known as Alias Systems Corporation. Later, in June 2004, SGI sold Alias to the private equity investment firm Accel-KKR for $57.1 million. On October 4, 2005, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) announced that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alias for $182 million in cash.
   −
In February 1996, SGI purchased the well-known supercomputer manufacturer Cray Research for $740 million[http://www.forbes.com/2000/03/03/mu4.html], and began to use marketing names such as "CrayLink" for (SGI-developed) technology integrated into the SGI server line. Three months later, it sold the SPARC/Solaris part of the Cray business to Sun Microsystems for an undisclosed amount (widely assumed to be $50 million).  SGI sold most of the remaining Cray business and the Cray brand to Tera Computer Company on March 31, 2000 for $35 million plus one million shares[http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/2002/11/18/focus2.html]. SGI also distributed its remaining interest in MIPS Technologies through a spin-off effective June 20, 2000.
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In February 1996, SGI purchased the well-known supercomputer manufacturer [[Cray Research]] for $740 million[http://www.forbes.com/2000/03/03/mu4.html], and began to use marketing names such as "CrayLink" for (SGI-developed) technology integrated into the SGI server line. Three months later, it sold the SPARC/Solaris part of the Cray business to [[Sun Microsystems]] for an undisclosed amount (widely assumed to be $50 million).  SGI sold most of the remaining Cray business and the Cray brand to Tera Computer Company on March 31, 2000 for $35 million plus one million shares[http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/stories/2002/11/18/focus2.html]. SGI also distributed its remaining interest in [[MIPS Technologies]] through a spin-off effective June 20, 2000.
    
In September 2000, SGI acquired the Zx10 series of Windows workstations and servers from Intergraph Computer Systems. These models were rebadged as SGI systems, but discontinued in June 2001.
 
In September 2000, SGI acquired the Zx10 series of Windows workstations and servers from Intergraph Computer Systems. These models were rebadged as SGI systems, but discontinued in June 2001.
    
===Late 1990s and recent developments===
 
===Late 1990s and recent developments===
Another attempt by SGI in the late 1990s to introduce its own family of Intel-based workstations running Windows NT (see also [[SGI Visual Workstation]]) proved to be a financial disaster, and shook customer confidence in SGI's commitment to its own MIPS-based line.
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Another attempt by SGI in the late 1990s to introduce its own family of Intel-based workstations running Windows NT (see also [[SGI Visual Workstation]]) proved to be a financial disaster, and shook customer confidence in SGI's commitment to its own [[MIPS]]-based line.
    
SGI has also been a big booster of Free Software, supporting several projects (such as Linux and Samba) and providing some previously proprietary code (such as [[XFS]]) to the free software world.
 
SGI has also been a big booster of Free Software, supporting several projects (such as Linux and Samba) and providing some previously proprietary code (such as [[XFS]]) to the free software world.
    
===Switch to Itanium===
 
===Switch to Itanium===
In 1998, SGI announced that future generations of their machines would be based not on their own MIPS processors, but the new "super-chip" from Intel, the [[Itanium]]. Funding for their own high-end processors was constrained, and it was planned that the R10000 would be the last MIPS mainstream processor. MIPS would focus entirely on the embedded market, where they were having some success, and SGI would no longer have to fund development of a CPU that, since the failure of ARC, found use only in their own machines.
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In 1998, SGI announced that future generations of their machines would be based not on their own [[MIPS]] processors, but the new "super-chip" from Intel, the [[Itanium]]. Funding for their own high-end processors was constrained, and it was planned that the R10000 would be the last [[MIPS]] mainstream processor. [[MIPS]] would focus entirely on the embedded market, where they were having some success, and SGI would no longer have to fund development of a CPU that, since the failure of ARC, found use only in their own machines.
   −
This plan quickly went awry. As early as 1999 it was clear the Itanium was going to be delivered very late, and then that it would have nowhere near the performance originally expected. As the production delays increased, MIPS' existing R10000-based machines grew increasingly uncompetitive. Eventually they were forced to introduce faster MIPS processors, the R12000, R14000 and R16000, which were used in a series of models from 2002 onwards, and continue to be sold to this day.
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This plan quickly went awry. As early as 1999 it was clear the Itanium was going to be delivered very late, and then that it would have nowhere near the performance originally expected. As the production delays increased, MIPS' existing R10000-based machines grew increasingly uncompetitive. Eventually they were forced to introduce faster MIPS processors, the [[R12000]], R14000 and R16000, which were used in a series of models from 2002 onwards, and continue to be sold to this day.
   −
SGI's first Itanium-based system was the short-lived SGI 750 workstation, launched in 2001. SGI's MIPS-based system were not to be superseded until the launch of the Itanium 2-based [[SGI Altix|Altix]] servers and [[SGI Prism|Prism]] workstations some time later. Unlike the MIPS-based systems, these models use GNU/Linux (SuSE Linux Enterprise Server with SGI enhancements) as their operating system instead of [[IRIX]]. SGI use Transitive's QuickTransit software to allow their old MIPS/IRIX applications run (in emulation) on the new Itanium/Linux platform.
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SGI's first Itanium-based system was the short-lived [[SGI 750]] workstation, launched in 2001. SGI's MIPS-based system were not to be superseded until the launch of the Itanium 2-based [[SGI Altix|Altix]] servers and [[SGI Prism|Prism]] workstations some time later. Unlike the MIPS-based systems, these models use GNU/Linux (SuSE Linux Enterprise Server with SGI enhancements) as their operating system instead of [[IRIX]]. SGI use Transitive's QuickTransit software to allow their old MIPS/IRIX applications run (in emulation) on the new Itanium/Linux platform.
    
In the server space the [[Itanium 2]]-based lineup, the Altix, appears to have almost replaced the MIPS-based product line, the latter being de-emphasized on the SGI web site. In the workstation space, the switch to Itanium appears to have been a complete failure.
 
In the server space the [[Itanium 2]]-based lineup, the Altix, appears to have almost replaced the MIPS-based product line, the latter being de-emphasized on the SGI web site. In the workstation space, the switch to Itanium appears to have been a complete failure.
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==High-end Server market==
 
==High-end Server market==
In recent years, SGI has continued to enhance its line of servers (of which the higher-end models are actually supercomputers) based around the SN architecture. SN, for Scalable Node, is a technology developed by SGI in the mid-1990s. SN is an example of [[CcNUMA|CC-NUMA]]: Cache-coherent Non-uniform memory access. In an SN system, processors, memory, and a bus- and memory-controller are coupled together into an entity known as a node. A node is usually a single circuit board. Nodes are connected via a high-speed interconnect originally called [[CrayLink]], since renamed [[NUMAlink]]. The result is a system that has no internal bus whatsoever. Rather, access between processors, memory, and I/O devices is facilitated through a switched fabric of links and routers. SN systems scale along several axes at once: as CPU count increases, so does memory capacity, I/O capacity, and system bisection bandwidth. The scalability of SN systems is a result of the cache-coherence of its distributed shared memory. This allows the combined memory of all the nodes to be accessed under a single OS image using standard shared-memory synchronization methods. This makes an SN system far easier to program and able to achieve a higher sustained vs peak performance ratio than non-cache-coherent systems like conventional clusters or massively parallel computers which require applications code to be written (or re-written) to do explicit message-passing communication between their nodes.
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In recent years, SGI has continued to enhance its line of servers (of which the higher-end models are actually supercomputers) based around the SN architecture. SN, for Scalable Node, is a technology developed by SGI in the mid-1990s. SN is an example of CC-NUMA: Cache-coherent Non-uniform memory access. In an SN system, processors, memory, and a bus- and memory-controller are coupled together into an entity known as a node. A node is usually a single circuit board. Nodes are connected via a high-speed interconnect originally called CrayLink, since renamed [[NUMAlink]]. The result is a system that has no internal bus whatsoever. Rather, access between processors, memory, and I/O devices is facilitated through a switched fabric of links and routers. SN systems scale along several axes at once: as CPU count increases, so does memory capacity, I/O capacity, and system bisection bandwidth. The scalability of SN systems is a result of the cache-coherence of its distributed shared memory. This allows the combined memory of all the nodes to be accessed under a single OS image using standard shared-memory synchronization methods. This makes an SN system far easier to program and able to achieve a higher sustained vs peak performance ratio than non-cache-coherent systems like conventional clusters or massively parallel computers which require applications code to be written (or re-written) to do explicit message-passing communication between their nodes.
    
The first SN system, known as SN-0, was released in 1996 as the Origin family. Based on the MIPS [[R10000]] processor, the Origin 200 scaled from one to four processors, and the Origin 2000 scaled from two to 128 processors. Later enhancements to the Origin 2000 line enabled systems of as large as 512 processors.
 
The first SN system, known as SN-0, was released in 1996 as the Origin family. Based on the MIPS [[R10000]] processor, the Origin 200 scaled from one to four processors, and the Origin 2000 scaled from two to 128 processors. Later enhancements to the Origin 2000 line enabled systems of as large as 512 processors.
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=====Workstations=====
 
=====Workstations=====
* Professional IRIS series (IRIS 4D/50/60/70/80/85)
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* Professional IRIS series ([[IRIS 4D]]/50/60/70/80/85)
* Personal IRIS series (IRIS 4D/20/25/30/35)
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* [[SGI Personal Iris|Personal IRIS]] series ([[IRIS 4D]]/20/25/30/35)
* IRIS Power Series (IRIS 4D/1x0/2x0/3x0/4x0)
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* IRIS Power Series ([[IRIS 4D]]/1x0/2x0/3x0/4x0)
* [[SGI Crimson|IRIS Crimson (deskside workstation/server)]]
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* [[IRIS Crimson|IRIS Crimson (deskside workstation/server)]]
 
* [[SGI Indigo|IRIS Indigo series (Indigo, Indigo R4000)]]
 
* [[SGI Indigo|IRIS Indigo series (Indigo, Indigo R4000)]]
 
* [[SGI Indigo2|Indigo² series (Indigo², Power Indigo², Indigo² R10000)]]
 
* [[SGI Indigo2|Indigo² series (Indigo², Power Indigo², Indigo² R10000)]]
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* [[SGI Octane|Octane workstation]]
 
* [[SGI Octane|Octane workstation]]
 
* [[SGI Octane2|Octane2 workstation]]
 
* [[SGI Octane2|Octane2 workstation]]
* Onyx (deskside and larger workstations)
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* [[SGI Onyx|Onyx]] (deskside and larger workstations)
* Onyx2 (deskside and larger workstations)
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* [[SGI Onyx2|Onyx2]] (deskside and larger workstations)
 
* Power Onyx (deskside and larger workstations)
 
* Power Onyx (deskside and larger workstations)
 
* Onyx R10000 (deskside and larger workstations)
 
* Onyx R10000 (deskside and larger workstations)
* Onyx 350 (Origin 350 with graphics hardware)
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* [[SGI Onyx 350|Onyx 350]] (Origin 350 with graphics hardware)
* Onyx 3000 (Origin 3000 with graphics hardware)
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* [[SGI Onyx 3000]] (Origin 3000 with graphics hardware)
* Onyx4 visualization system
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* [[SGI Onyx4]] visualization system
    
=====Servers=====
 
=====Servers=====
 
* Challenge S (desktop server)
 
* Challenge S (desktop server)
* [[SGI Challenge M|Challenge M/Power Challenge M (desktop server)]]
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* [[SGI Challenge|Challenge M/Power Challenge M (desktop server)]]
 
* Challenge DM (deskside server)
 
* Challenge DM (deskside server)
 
* Challenge L/Power Challenge/Challenge 10000 (deskside server)
 
* Challenge L/Power Challenge/Challenge 10000 (deskside server)
 
* Challenge XL/Power Challenge XL (rack server)
 
* Challenge XL/Power Challenge XL (rack server)
* Origin 200 mid-range server
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* [[SGI Origin 200]] mid-range server
* Origin 2000 high-end server
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* [[SGI Origin 2000]] high-end server
* [[Origin300]] mid-range server
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* [[SGI Origin 300]] mid-range server
    
====Intel IA-32-based systems====
 
====Intel IA-32-based systems====
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* SGI Zx10 VE Visual Workstation (Windows)
 
* SGI Zx10 VE Visual Workstation (Windows)
 
* SGI Zx10 Server (Windows)
 
* SGI Zx10 Server (Windows)
* SGI 1100 server (Linux/Windows)
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* [[SGI 1100 Server]] (Linux/Windows)
* SGI 1200 server (Linux/Windows)
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* [[SGI 1200 Server]] (Linux/Windows)
 
* SGI 1400 server (Linux/Windows)
 
* SGI 1400 server (Linux/Windows)
 
* SGI 1450 server (Linux/Windows)
 
* SGI 1450 server (Linux/Windows)
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====[[Itanium]]-/[[Itanium 2]]-based systems====
 
====[[Itanium]]-/[[Itanium 2]]-based systems====
* SGI 750 workstation
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* [[SGI 750]] workstation
* Altix 330 mid-range server
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* [[Altix 330]] mid-range server
* [[SGI Altix 350|Altix 350 mid-range server]]
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* [[Altix 350|Altix 350 mid-range server]]
* Altix 3000 high-end server
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* [[Altix 3000]] high-end server
* [[SGI Prism|Prism high-end workstation]]
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* [[Prism|Prism high-end workstation]]
    
====Storage systems====
 
====Storage systems====
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General Unofficial SGI Information
 
General Unofficial SGI Information
* [http://www.nekochan.net/ Nekochan - SGI enthusiast resource]
   
* [http://www.schrotthal.de/sgi/ Schrotthal.de - images of SGI systems]
 
* [http://www.schrotthal.de/sgi/ Schrotthal.de - images of SGI systems]
 
* [http://sgistuff.g-lenerz.de/ SGIstuff - information on SGI systems and technologies]
 
* [http://sgistuff.g-lenerz.de/ SGIstuff - information on SGI systems and technologies]
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[[Category:SGI]]
 
[[Category:SGI]]
 
[[Category:Computing]]
 
[[Category:Computing]]
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[[Category:Companies]]

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