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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. ®

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