SGI, known for its high-performance graphics servers and workstations, last week introduced an Itanium 2-based server, the Altix 350, which runs Linux and is designed for technical computing.According to SGI\u2019s claims, it is 50% less expensive and 75% faster than Unix-based symmetrical multiprocessing servers from Sun, HP and IBM. It is expected to be deployed for database servers, departmental servers and throughput clusters (where servers are ganged up to increase the throughput available to an application).The Altix 350 uses SGI\u2019s shared memory NUMAflex architecture and supports as many as 16 processors under a single system image. It uses the 6.4G byte\/sec NUMAlink interconnect between processors.The server can be configured with 1.5M bytes to 6M bytes of cache memory and runs at 1 GHz to 1.5 GHz. As much as 192G bytes of global shared memory can be configured.The Altix 350 has from four to 32 PCI slots for peripheral connections and runs SGI\u2019s Advanced Linux Environment, a Red Hat-compatible Linux.Each 2U high chassis includes one or two processors. It can also be clustered with Voltaire\u2019s InfiniBand products, with a Quadrics interconnect or with Gigabit Ethernet.SGI announced its first Itanium-based server in 2001 - the SGI 750. The company also offers the SGI Altix 3000, which supports from four to 128 processors.A four-processor configuration of the Altix 350 starts at $21,600.