Intel Strikes New Accord with Cray
Intel's QuickPath Interconnect could be a performance breakthrough for supercomputers.Intel has struck a new agreement with Cray that the two companies say they hope will lead to technological breakthroughs in the field of supercomputers and high-performance computing. Intel and Cray announced what they called a "multiyear" agreement on April 28. While Intel will supply x86 microprocessors to Cray, the two companies also hope to develop new system and chip technologies that will push the HPC envelope in the future.
Cray CEO and President Peter Ungaro told eWEEK that he expects the first of these jointly developed HPC systems to hit the commercial market in either 2011 or 2012, when his company moves closer toward developing its "Cascade" project, which aims to create a single adaptive system that will allow one machine to handle different HPC tasks.
Steve Conway, an analyst with IDC, said both Cray and Intel will benefit from this new relationship. For Cray, the agreement gains it access to another chip vendor to help it fill orders and expand its reach within the high end of the HPC market. For Intel, it's a chance to delve further into a market that should grow significantly in the next few years. Interest in HPC goes beyond academia IDC is predicting that the HPC market will grow from $11.6 billion in 2007 to more than $16 billion by 2012. One reason for the increased interest in these machines is that many enterprises and other commercial businesses are beginning to invest in HPC in order to access even greater computing power. "At the high end of the market, Cray is a company that is pushing this type of technology very hard and Intel wants to put more emphasis on high-performance computing and pay more attention to HPC user requirements," Conway said. Of the world's Top 500 supercomputers, 354 supercomputer systems use Intel processors.