insideHPC has confirmed that IBM Fellow Dr. Alan Gara is leaving the company to join Intel. As the chief system architect of the three generations of Blue Gene supercomputers, Gara was an IBM Fellow at T.J. Watson Research Center and was leading exascale system research at IBM.
As the 2010 recipient of the Seymour Cray Award, Gara has had a storied history in HPC. His Blue Gene/L system was the #1 system on the top500 list for 5 consecutive dates. The Blue Gene/P and the latest Blue Gene/Q systems both debuted as #1 in terms of energy efficiency on the green500 list. Alan Gara received his PhD in physics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1987. Dr. Gara has received two Gordon Bell Awards in each of 1998 and 2006 for his scientific work in supercomputing.
Update:An Intel spokesperson confirming this story said that Dr. Gara will not be working in HPC for the first year. This is interesting in that the company has been staffing up with top-level supercomputing talent including John Gustafson (Sun) and more recently Dr. Bill Feiereisen (Lockheed Martin) and Mark Seager (LLNL). One thing is for sure, the loss of Alan Gara is a significant setback for IBM as it readies it plans to deploy several 10 Petaflop Blue Gene/Q systems in the near future.