Intel lands Cray
Intel has busted into Cray, securing a deal with the high performance computing specialist to slot Xeon processors in future systems.
Cray's latest line of hardware remains centered around AMD's Opteron processors. But now Intel will join the fold, starting in the 2010ish time frame when Cray releases a new line of hardware dubbed the Cascade computers. This win marks a move by Intel to reach the highest-end of supercomputing systems.
Representatives from the two companies stressed that this deal will include substantial co-engineering work in the years to come. However, they declined to provide any specifics at all at this time around what such work might entail.
With Cascade, Cray is looking to combine general purpose processors such as Xeon with a host of co-processors dedicated to handling specific software tasks.
Cray said this deal was not a reaction to AMD's struggles getting out four-core versions of the Opteron chip. Although, the supercomputer maker was forced to delay the release of recent systems due to AMD's woes. So, it must be comforting to bring Intel on as an option.
Cray declined to say whether or not Opterons will also sit in the Cascade units, as has been the plan.
Intel dominates the market for HPC systems with Xeons powering most of the Top500 supercomputers. That said, it has been the likes of Sun, IBM and Cray that have had the largest supercomputer deals of late with those units centered around Opteron, Power and Cell chips.
So, getting into the Cray account should help Intel grab some of the very largest units. ®
Supercomputer - finally a computer that runs Vista well
I think they are planning for people who are forced to use Vista so they are trying to come up with a platform that can handle the rediculous demands of Vista.
@ Don Mitchell
In fairness to Intel, they don't seem to be driving AMD out of business through dodgy business practices. Intel are simply making better products with better VFM. There's also no signs that they're deliberately under-charging the way Rupert Murdoch did when threatened by On-Digital.
I wouldn't rule AMD out yet though. 3 years ago it was the other way around. And ATI/AMD GPUs seem to be gaining on nVidia. I think it's fair to say that without AMD, you would still see the product development from Intel, but not at the prices that they currently have.
To lose AMD from the market would turn it into a one-horse race again, with prices that reflected this. Just look at the products where Intel are unchallenged (the Extreme range), they can charge the world for these and are doing so.
AMD should be grateful...
...that Intel is not still being run by Andy Grove. They would probably have been dead for a number of years now, if that had been the case.
It could be worse, still: Probably the only businessman in the IT business who's more ruthless than Grove is Jack Tramiel. He makes Bill Gates look like a pussycat by comparison.