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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Intel and Cray tied up on supercomputers

Intel is to embark on a partnership programme with supercomputing specialist Cray Systems.

The two companies will develop the main components for a new generation of supercomputers using multi-core chips and advanced interconnection methods.

The new systems will be targeted at traditional supercomputing markets, such as engineering calculations and scientific modelling and analysis.

Cray president and chief executive Peter Ungaro said: "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."

The two companies expect the initiative to bear fruit in 2010, when Cray plans to ship the first of its Cascade line of supercomputers.

The Cascade project, which is partially backed by a grant from the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is an attempt to use multiple processor types and computing methods in a 'hybrid' supercomputer.

The move also marks a win for Intel. Cray had originally planned to base Cascade on chips from rival vendor AMD.
Shares of supercomputer maker Cray Inc. rose Monday after an analyst upgraded the supercomputer maker, citing greater chip availability from Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

The Seattle-based company's stock rose 48 cents, or 7.6 percent, to $6.83.

Northland Securities analyst Chad Bennett raised his rating to "Outperform" from "Market Perform" and kept a $9 price target. The target implies he expects the stock to rise about 42 percent over Friday's $6.35 close.

Bennett said news from AMD that it will begin shipping a type of core semiconductor gives him "increasing comfort" on chip supply.

The company is set to post first-quarter results on Tuesday, but Bennett said investors should look at the rest of the year, especially after the AMD news.

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