[Bioclusters] FPGA in bioinformatics clusters (again?) Ref: Cray and SGI

George Magklaras george.magklaras at biotek.uio.no
Thu Jan 19 13:48:27 EST 2006

Tim Cutts wrote:
> On 14 Jan 2006, at 5:07 am, Farul Mohd. Ghazali wrote:
> SGI are in the same situation as  Cray; the 
> US government will keep them alive as long as they need  support and 
> no-one else has a competing product.  

SGI's position being the same as Cray's? You have made the 'CrayLink' 
:-). After all I think Cray was briefly owned by SGI? From a 'huge 
budget to even think about purchasing' point of view maybe...But from a 
product point of view not so much under the surface. The ALTIX maybe a 
nice package, it might contain "customized NUMAlinks", but their 
technology is more on the backplane and interconnect rather than the 
processor itself (my bias:personally I was never convinced about SGI 
offerings, despite the fact I ran Origins a while ago). Cray might have 
Opteron optimized systems (XD1) but their vector processors are a 
different workhorse. If you now ask the question "how many people need 
or can afford VP technology", the answer is almost certainly very few. 
But my point is that SGI might be facing some tough times due to the 
fact that they are trying to pass technology not so unique as "unique", 
whereas Cray is trying to give you technology that most folks do not 
need or cannot afford...

>  This isn't actually  that bad a 
> position to be in.  It's the same reason that VMS will  never die, and 
> that HP are being forced to support Alpha for many years.
Another example of over-priced technology way ahead of its time... and 
eventually, you got the Itanium with the "acceptable" compilers some 
time after its first appearance :-p ...

IMHO only.
George B. Magklaras

Senior Computer Systems Engineer/UNIX Systems Administrator
The Biotechnology Centre of Oslo,
University of Oslo


EMBnet Norway: http://www.biotek.uio.no/EMBNET/


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