Poor AMD. Cray has decided to build its next generation of supercomputers around Intel’s Xeon chips. Cray’s previous line was built around AMD’s Opteron processor, which was introduced in 2003, but AMD’s latest quad-core chip — the Barcelona — has been delayed. Into that delay has stepped Intel, with an ambitious effort to not only provide chips, but also to build an R&D partnership around the future of supercomputing centered on Intel’s multicore processors. With Cray bringing on such a potent partner (Intel has almost 71 percent of the market when it comes to providing processors for the Top 500 supercomputers) other chip vendors such as IBM should take note, too. Chart image from Top500.org.
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