Hewlett Packard Enterprise is buying supercomputer maker Cray for $1.3 billion

39;Jurassic Park's' DNA sequencing was conducted on Cray computers

Jurassic Park's DNA sequencing was conducted on Cray computers

Venerable supercomputer pioneer Cray Inc. will be acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise for $1.3 billion under a definitive agreement announced this morning.

"HPE and Cray share a commitment to customer-centric innovation and a vision to create the global leader for the future of high performance computing and AI". The news follows HPE's acquisition almost three years ago of supercomputer vendor SGI, for $275 million, both moves bolstering the company's HPC technology portfolio and, presumably, HPE's no. 1 position in the HPC server market.

The explosion of data from AI, ML and big data analytics coupled with evolving customer needs for data-intensive workloads are now driving a significant expansion in HPC.

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At the highest end of the market are exascale systems, capable of a billion calculations per second, a segment in which Cray is actively involved and which represents an estimated $4 billion market opportunity over the next five years, HPE said.

Cray is one of the leading players in supercomputing, with its systems powering three of the world's top 10 supercomputers. Cray has also started to develop a seemingly strong relationship with AMD, too, at a time when HPE's supercomputing competitor, IBM, has been strengthening its own relationship with Nvidia, AMD's main rival in the GPU market.

"Answers to some of society's most pressing challenges are buried in massive amounts of data".

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Seymour Cray, who helped originate the company in the 1950s, is widely recognised as designing the first commercially successful supercomputer. HPE said it will look to offer Cray's supercomputers as a service through HPE Greenlake, and Cray will likely continue supplying supercomputers to big customers like the U.S. Department of Energy, which just purchased a $600 million system from Cray that will be the world's fastest supercomputer as of the moment.

The two companies expect the acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval, to close by the first quarter of HPE's fiscal 2020.

HPE said the deal will create a combined company offering services across computing, storage, interconnection and software in the fast-growing high performance computing and artificial intelligence (AI) sectors.

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