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Carlsbad Company Launches Portable Supercomputer

TECH: GigaIO’s Gryf Designed TSA-friendly

CARLSBAD – A year after launching a server with a massive memory capacity as its flagship product, GigaIO is preparing to introduce a supercomputer small enough to take on commercial flights.

Alan Benjamin
CEO
GigaIO

GigaIO CEO Alan Benjamin said the suitcase-sized Gryf, which will be available this summer, will bring fast data collection and analysis capabilities that can serve a variety of customers, including the military, universities, sports broadcasters, entertainment venues, movie producers, medical imaging and self-driving vehicles producers, among others.

“Because of artificial intelligence and AI’s growing appeal to a very broad group of customers, our marketplace is expanding dramatically,” Benjamin said.

The market for high-performance computing is expected to grow from about $100 billion in 2023 to $1 trillion in 2027, he said.

“A lot of people want to talk about the foundational models or the large language models or the applications,” Benjamin said. “Well, eventually it’s all got to run on something.”

The Carlsbad-based company is developing the components of the Gryf, and the infrastructure will be built by Boston-based SourceCode.

The Gryf will weigh about 50 pounds and its dimensions will be 9 inches by 14 inches by 24.5 inches with wheels. Its name comes from the mythical creature Griffin, or gryphon, that had the body of a lion and wings and talons of an eagle, which Benjamin said symbolizes the device’s power and portability.

The Gryf is a mini-supercomputer compact enough to be considered carry-on luggage, and it can be connected to other Gryfs to expand its capacity. Photo courtesy GigaIO

Massive Storage Capability

GigaIO launched the SuperNODE, a single-node 32-graphics processing unit (GPU) server, as its flagship product last summer. Earlier this month, the company launched its latest version of the SuperNODE with AMD Instinct MI300X accelerators.

“There’s nothing else close to having 32 GPU,” Benjamin said. “A conventional setup is 8 GPU in a server. And they have conventional technology to have those servers talk to each other. They’re less performative, more difficult and generally cost more than what we do.”

The client base for the SuperNODE has been in engineering, manufacturing and science groups including biomedical companies. Research institutions, including the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego, also have acquired the SuperNODE.

While powerful, the SuperNODE also takes up some space at about 6 feet high, 2 feet wide and 3 feet deep.

Benjamin said the Gryph was developed in response to feedback from a national security client that was using the SuperNODE but wanted a more-portable version.

“They said, ‘We would love a product that has the same ability for us to match the configuration of the hardware exactly to the mission, but we need it in a box that can roll aboard an airplane,” Benjamin recalled. “And that’s where Gryph came from.”

The Gryph has six slots to hold one of four sleds that have different functions, allowing it to be customized to fit a customer’s need. The sled for storage has a capacity of up to 246 terabytes.

“The customer can pick a very storage-heavy version or a computer-heavy version, or have a balance of storage and computing power,” Benjamin said. “They can mix and match.”

Connects Like Legos

While a single Gryph does not have the same GPU capacity as the SuperNODE, it can be connected with five other Gryphs similar to Lego blocks, Benjamin said.

The portability of the Gryf will allow users to transform vast amounts of data collected on-site into actionable solutions rather than sending the information to a datacenter for processing.

Its large storage capacity also means the data can be stored and analyzed, Benjamin said.

“It’s not like your Ring doorbell where you’re constantly gathering information, but you throw the data away,” he said. “In this case, you want to keep the data, you want to compute, and you want to bring the data back and run a full analysis. We can accommodate both of those things.”

Benjamin said the need for the technology is growing in several industries, including movie production in remote locations that can use the computing power of a Gryf to determine if they need to shoot more or if they have finished a scene.

Sports broadcasters with cameras that store streams of data that now are stored off-site also could use the technology, and Benjamin said a venue such as The Sphere in Las Vegas could use a Gryf for the large amount of data it stores for its projection screens.

GigalO
FOUNDED: 2017
CEO: Alan Benjamin
HEADQUARTERS: Carlsbad
BUSINESS: Artificial Intelligence and high-performance computing infrastructure company
EMPLOYEES: 38
WEBSITE: https://gigaio.com/
SOCIAL IMPACT: The company’s SuperNODE technology runs 30 percent more efficiently than conventional servers, saving electricity.

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