Ouch … HPC and IT companies quarterly results …

Well, there is an economic slowdown going on, so we shouldn’t be surprised when Intel and Microsoft post slightly lower earnings. Some HPC companies are getting hammered though.

SGI just announced earnings, or more correctly, losses for the quarter. You can read it online at Yahoo finance and others. They lost 14% today. Down into the $7/share region.

ClearSpeed, who I have talked about before, is being hammered. See their graph (also at Yahoo finance)

Clearspeed chart at Yahoo

Sun Microsystems is also hit, though they are arguably more IT infrastructure than HPC. They will shed a few thousand jobs to make up for the loss.

The accelerator and acceleration market continues forward with significant velocity. The groups that look like they are going to win this race are giving away their developer tools, and their per-unit costs are ~$1000 or so. If you can get 10x node performance by going to an accelerator that will cost you 1/4-1/2 of what your node would cost, then this is a no-brainer. The issue with this is, fundamentally, whether you are comparing per core or per node. Most marketeers will like to compare per core, most users will compare per node. So if your node has 8 cores, and your acceleration gets you 10 cores of performance ….

… what again is the value add?

With CSD, they have the issue that their CPUs are providing 50 GFLOPs double precision. Each core in a Xeon Harpertown will provide ~6GFLOPs. 48 GFLOPs in aggregate for a dual socket system. Without the programming pain of CSD. And at a lower cost. With commonly available tools. Others have noted their issues.

Sadly, though the technology is nice (we have a board in our lab), it looks like the writing is on the wall for this, unless they can pull 10x performance out of a hat somewhere. And get design wins. That is the name of the game.

SGI simply announced a loss. You can see what has happened on their chart as well.

SGI chart at Yahoo

SGI has some notable wins, but very little IP in the game. Most of their kit is developed elsewhere.

Sun is being hammered by much larger Dell and HP teams. The latter two are slogging it out for dominance in the server space.

No one ever said business was easy.

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