In what seems to be a panic buy (following the AMD’s acquisition of SeaMicro) and a desire to go for tried technology, Intel announced that they will be acquiring Gemini and Aries interconnects from Cray Inc.
Intel released a record-short, less-than-300-word press release stating that the company "announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Cray Inc. to acquire certain assets related to its high-performance computing (HPC) interconnect program. With the agreement, Intel gains access to Cray?s world-class interconnect personnel and intellectual property.
The Cray interconnect team is responsible for the award-winning Gemini interconnect as well as the upcoming Aries interconnect, designed to work in Cray?s next-generation supercomputer, codenamed ?Cascade,? which will integrate Intel® Xeon® processors. The transaction is expected to close before the end of the current quarter, subject to customary closing conditions being met.
"Delivering continued advancement in high-performance computing, including breaking the Exascale barrier, requires tremendous innovation in interconnect technology," said Diane Bryant, vice president and general manager of Intel?s Datacenter and Connected System Group. "The acquisition of Cray?s industry-leading interconnect technology and expertise provides exceptional strategic assets that further enhance Intel?s HPC portfolio. We?re excited about the value this will allow us to bring to our customers."
This is an interesting move by Intel, since the above mentioned interconnects are mostly used in conjunction with competing products such as AMD Opteron and NVIDIA Tesla. Interestingly enough, during their press conference at the Xeon E5 launch in San Francisco, Intel’s own executive management bad mouthed AMD’s SeaMicro acquisition saying that their technology was unimpressive. Looks like Intel didn’t want to loose out.