SGI files for bankruptcy

Silicon Graphics of Mountain View, Calif., has filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, a move that will reduce the outstanding company debt by $250 million. The company also announced that Dennis P. McKenna has taken the helm as CEO and chairman.

SGI has a number of government customers for its high-performance computing systems. In April 2005, the Defense Department's High Performance Computing Modernization Program purchased a 2,048-processor SGI Altix System for visualization tasks. In July 2004, NASA Ames Research Center purchased a 10,240-processor Altix system.

Despite the setback, the company executives do not foresee disruptions in customer service. It plans to reorganize and 'emerge from Chapter 11 within six months,' according to a company statement.

SGI has faced a declining market for its wares of late. The company specialized in high-performance visualization workstations, a market undercut in recent years by less-expensive commodity servers. According to theWall Street Journal, SGI was delisted by the New York Stock Exchange for failing to meet the threshold of $1 per share. It also reported a third-quarter loss of $42.7 million on revenue that fell to $108.1 million.

At the recent High Performance Computing and Communications Conference in Newport, R.I., SGI chief technical officer Eng Lim Goh outlined the direction he saw the company taking toward large shared-memory systems. The company's NUMAlink shared-memory architecture allows multiple machines to fuse their working memory into one collective pool, which can then contain large databases and other programs in their entirety, speeding performance.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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