Friday, May 2, 2008

Cray Set to Adopt Microprocessors from Intel in Forthcoming Supercomputers

Cray, a long time supporter of Advanced Micro Devices’ Opteron microprocessor, on Monday announced that it would use Intel Corp.’s microprocessors for certain upcoming supercomputers. The announcement will allow Cray to rely on more suppliers of x86 microprocessors and not to suffer from potential delays of future AMD Opteron introductions.

“We’re excited at the potential of bringing together Intel’s powerful silicon expertise and Cray's industry leadership in scalable HPC systems. We pride ourselves in offering the most innovative supercomputing systems and our customers will now enjoy greater choice in processor technologies,” said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray.

Cray and Intel signed a multi-year agreement to advance high-performance computing (HPC) on Intel microprocessors while delivering broad new Intel and Cray technologies in future Cray server systems. The two companies plan to explore future supercomputer component designs such as multi-core processing and advanced interconnects. As a result of this collaboration, Cray and Intel plan to develop a range of HPC systems and technologies over the next several years.

Up to now Cray relied on proprietary microprocessors as well as central processing units (CPUs) from Advanced Micro Devices, which very well suite for high-performance computing environments. However, due to AMD’s inability to ship quad-core AMD Opteron processors to Cray on time, the company did not earn revenues it expected to, ending 2007 with $186.2 million in revenue, considerably lower than $230 million the company anticipated in mid-2007. As a result, the collaboration of Cray with Intel, the arch-rival of AMD, is completely logical especially months ahead of Intel’s introduction of the new CPU micro-architecture and platform architecture.

“This collaboration provides the HPC market segment with access to the best microprocessors the industry has to offer at any point in time, in the most advanced supercomputers in the world. This further strengthens Cray's industry-leading adaptive supercomputing vision as we move into the Cascade timeframe and beyond,” Mr. Ungaro added.

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