The question is this: Who would want to buy the NUMAlink intellectual property. Nvidia, which has aspirations in servers and HPC clusters based on hybrid ARM-GPU computing elements, needs an interconnect. And buying one is far cheaper than starting from scratch, as Intel’s acquisitions of Ethernet and InfiniBand switching and the Cray “Aries” interconnect demonstrate. Being a global shared memory interconnect, NUMAlink could be particularly interesting for Nvidia to get its hands on. Lenovo or Inspur, two Chinese server makers that are growing like crazy, could be interested, and even server upstart Cisco Systems could find some use for it. All that SGI would need to do is keep the rights to use the technology, just as Cray did with Aries.
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In related news, this week SGI announced that Cassio Conceicao has been appointed SGI’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.