22 November 2001



Press Release

NIMA's National Information Library Relies on Commercial off-the-Shelf SGI Origin 2000 Server Technology

Hundreds of SGI Processors Power One of the Largest Digital Imagery Archives

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (Oct. 30, 2001)-SGI (NYSE: SGI) today announced that one of the largest archives of digital imagery in the world, managed by the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) and used by the U.S. Department of Defense and the intelligence community, is powered by SGITM Origin� 2000* server technology.

Launched in July 2000, NIMA's National Information Library (NIL) will eventually store five years of digital imagery and archive 25 million images requiring 6600TB of storage. The NIL relies almost exclusively on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software, including SGI Origin 2000 server technology.

"Since its start, the NIL program has faced unique computational requirements that stretch the capabilities of available computing technology. The NIL has successfully met the challenging needs for large computational performance, scalability and sustained gigabyte-size I/O by deploying leading-edge SGI Origin 2000 server technology," said Cookie Watkins, NIL program manager, NIMA.

The SGITM Origin� server family is used for high-performance, computationally intensive applications in business, government and the scientific and technical communities. Use of MIPS� processors, combined with the SGITM IRIX� operating system and the SGITM NUMA architecture in a 64-bit scalable server environment, allows the SGI Origin family to scale to thousands of processors, providing the opportunity to seamlessly grow as customer requirements demand.

"NIMA has leveraged SGI's expertise in scalable server architectures and big data problems in order to ensure the reliable and timely delivery of products to NIMA's customers," said Watkins. "To date, hundreds of SGI processors and systems have been deployed at many locations in support of the program's mission. Superior SGI server technology and SGI's strong support have played a major role in our success."

"SGI is proud to be part of this national security program, and we are committed to its success. NIMA has a unique set of processing and solution requirements that has always pushed us to develop capabilities beyond the norm, and we welcome these challenges," said John Burwell, senior director for government industry, SGI. "Geospatial information systems, with requirements to acquire, process, archive and exploit large amounts of data, fit the sweet spot of scalable, high-bandwidth SGI compute and collaborative visualization solutions."

The NIL is part of the NIMA library family that includes the Command Information Libraries (CILs) and Image Product Libraries (IPLs). The CILs are smaller sets of the same hardware used for the NIL and provide storage and retrieval of imagery to the military commands. The smallest member of the library family, IPLs provide seamless ordering, access, storage and dissemination of imagery to the lowest echelons in the services' command, control, communications, computers and intelligence architectures. IPLs are installed throughout the world.

The NIMA libraries are a key element of the U.S. Imagery and Geospatial Information Service (USIGS)-an extensive network of systems used by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the intelligence community to share and exploit imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial information.

"The NIL is the centerpiece of USIGS and has a tremendous capacity to support its customers," said Watkins. "It can ingest 5TB of data per day and handle 80,000 queries each day-responding in 15 to 20 seconds."

The NIL and CILs are replacing a legacy system-IDEX II-and will provide a modernized imagery archive based upon an open-systems COTS-based architecture. NIMA will complete installation of the CILs at each of the IDEX II-based military commands by September 2001.

About SGI
SGI, also known as Silicon Graphics, is the world's leading provider of high-performance computing, complex data management and visualization products, services and solutions that enable its technical and creative customers to gain strategic and competitive advantages in their core businesses. Whether being used to design and build safer cars and airplanes, discover new medications and oil reserves, help us to understand and better predict the weather, entertain us with thrilling movie special effects or provide mission-critical support for government defense, SGI systems and expertise are empowering a world of innovation and discovery. The company, located on the Web at, is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., and has offices worldwide.

About NIMA
NIMA is a DoD and National Intelligence Community agency providing imagery, imagery intelligence and geospatial information in support of national security objectives. Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., NIMA operates major facilities in northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and St. Louis, Mo.

*Origin 2000 is now being marketed and sold as the SGITM 2000 series.

Silicon Graphics and IRIX are registered trademarks and SGI, the SGI logo and Origin are trademarks of Silicon Graphics, Inc. MIPS is a registered trademark of MIPS Technologies, Inc., used under license by Silicon Graphics, Inc. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.