SGI have terminated the entire graphics division

Silicon Graphics News
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So, what does the ‘G’ in SGI stand for, now? Just returned from holiday to be greeted with the news that SGI have terminated their entire graphics division.

It seems like the entire VUE suite – including PowerVUE, the distributed and accelerated OpenGL rendering system – has been culled, as have all visualisation tools and products.

The VP of the Graphics Division, Bob Pette, has left to join NVidia – reminding me of the initial exodus of talent when that drooling imbecile Rick Belluzo was busy screwing over the Silicon Graphics customer base.

You can read Mark Barrenechea’s take on it over on his CEO blog.

This looks like a complete and total exit from the graphics market, and an ongoing commitment to ship GPU solutions from ATI, NVidia and Intel within their systems.

Randall Hand over at Vizworld has some more in-depth coverage as this unfolded.

John West over at InsideHPC also has a good post highlighting the issues this poses to SGI’s customers. After being told that the new SGI was 100% committed to transparency, and delivering a line of visualisation products, they’re now not acknowledging the layoffs and the technology termination. Where have I seen that sort of behaviour before? Oh yes – when SGI were previously flailing around.

SGI are finally reaping the rewards from years of ignoring the consumer graphics market and the dangers that innovation there could pose to the company. The surprise is not that it happened, but that it took this long.

Sadly Gutted Innovation, anyone?

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UK’s Institute of Cancer Research and Silicon Graphics Establish Long-Term Alliance to Design and Outfit World-Class Network Biology Lab

Silicon Graphics News
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SUNNYVALE, Calif., Feb. 17 — As part of a multi-year collaboration, Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) (Nasdaq: SGIC) today announced it will provide the high-productivity solutions needed to outfit a new world-class cancer research facility in the United Kingdom.

Silicon Graphics has been selected to equip, over the next five or more years, an initiative in integrated network biology at London’s renowned The Institute of Cancer Research. Expected to open in spring 2009, the initiative in integrated network biology at The Institute will arm a team of cancer research pioneers with advanced compute, storage and visualization solutions built, implemented and optimized by Silicon Graphics.

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Will it happen – Nvidia and Silicon Graphics?

Silicon Graphics News
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With markets drying up and R&D budgets taking a pounding, both Silicon Graphics and Nvidia are facing some tough times. Nvidia are being squeezed in the chipset arena by both Intel and AMD/ATI, and their graphics biz is taking a hit from AMD/ATI and also their recent production issues.

With a number of staff leaving SGI to work at Nvidia, Quadro’s presence in SGI’s visualisation systems, and Nvidia looking more and more to move into high end visualisation, how long will it be before the two companies get together?

A partnership – or even a full merger – would benefit both companies enormously, and allow them to merge R&D spend and come up with some really innovative solutions for high end visualisation problems. CUDA and discrete GPUs as processing units seems to play into SGI’s strategy for mix-and-match processing (see their use of FPGAs in Altix) and with Altix ICE taking off even more, such modular solutions could provide a compelling solution for many different vertical markets.

Will it happen? I think it should, and I forecast that we’ll see some movement in this direction in the coming year, as the economy gets worse.

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