Intel Buys Supercomputer Interconnect Hardware Assets from Cray

Intel Further Enhances Exascale Capabilities with Interconnect Hardware from Cray

by Anton Shilov
04/24/2012 | 09:41 PM

Intel Corp. said Tuesday it had entered into a definitive agreement with Cray to acquire certain assets related to its high-performance computing (HPC) interconnect program. With the agreement, Intel gains access to Cray’s world-class interconnect personnel and intellectual property.

 

The Cray interconnect team is responsible for the award-winning Gemini interconnect as well as the upcoming Aries interconnect, designed to work in Cray’s next-generation  supercomputer, codenamed “Cascade”, which will integrate Intel Xeon processors. Gemini, Aries and future interconnect technologies are required to break the Exascale barrier towards the end of the decade. With the takeover of the appropriate assets, Intel boosts its abilities to develop HPC systems with unprecedented performance and moderate power consumption. Earlier this year Intel acquired Infiniband technology assets for HPC purposes.

Cray will receive $140 million in cash at closing of the transaction before the end of the current quarter. The company will continue to develop, sell and support current product lines, as well as the 's next-generation supercomputer code-named Cascade as it will retain rights to use the transferred technologies and IP in its products. Cray claims it has opportunities to leverage important differentiating features of certain future Intel products within its systems.

"This agreement is evidence of the leadership position we have established in high performance computing, and is an exciting win for our customers, our company and our shareholders. By broadening our relationship with Intel, we are positioned to further penetrate the HPC market and expand on our industry-leading technologies in support of our Adaptive Supercomputing vision. Our product roadmap remains intact as we continue to build the highly differentiated, tightly integrated supercomputers that our customers have come to expect from Cray. This agreement also dramatically strengthens our balance sheet and increases our options for further growth, profitability and creating shareholder value," said Peter Ungaro, president and chief executive officer of Cray.

Up to 74 Cray employees will join Intel to continue their work on interconnection technologies. Cray anticipates that the lower headcount resulting from this transaction will yield cost savings in future periods from what they would have been, with a relatively modest amount of the benefit expected in 2012.