Inside Track: SiCortex rumored to be closing its doors [CONFIRMED]

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Word on the street is that SiCortex will announce soon, perhaps today, that they are going out of business. No word on what the problem is; I know that they were working on another round of financing, and this is a tough environment to be looking for addititional financing. I’ll try to contact the company and find out for sure.

[UPDATE]: SiCortex has begun contacting people today letting them know that the third round of financing did not materialize in time for SiCortex to continue financing. Without the cash to operate they are trying now to sell the company, with a target sale by the end of June. As of today the company has suspended all sales activity.


  1. […] [update] In multiple conversations/emails today, I learned that this was indeed true. The link to InsideHPC story is here. […]

  2. […] in time available here). – SiCortex wasn’t able to get a third financing round & close doors. – Quadrics shut down. And in the midst of all that: Cray buy back its […]


  1. Wow… just wow…

    So far the HPCMP is batting 1000 this year… 2 vendors, 2 acquisitions, 2 companies belly up?

    Early I jested about Cray Henry & Co being the harbinger of death to HPC…

    I’m not laughing anymore

  2. Tyron Shoes says

    Years ago, before Cray was in charge, after listening to his plans, I asked him, “What are you trying to do?”

    “Drive the industry.”

    “Where? Into the ground?” How prophetic of me.

  3. Tyron, I am puzzled by his vision of supporting the War Fighter but rest assured Mr. Obama will just use more of your tax dollars. Spoke to a guy 3 weeks ago and he said Cray indicated it’s not his job to look at a company’s viability that is GSA job – yet another brilliant statement.

    At least our Sun is working!!

  4. I wonder what this means for the Pathscale team and compiler. SiCortex bought them recently

  5. John West says

    ScottB: good question, I had forgotten about them.

  6. John Leidel says

    Don’t forget… The Pathscale compiler on built on top of Open64, which is remnant of the Silicon Graphics MIPSPro Compiler stack. There are several engineers from the original MIPSPro team still working on Pathscale [from what I understand].

    I’ve worked with Pathscale on several previous occasions. From all accounts, its a great compiler. I’d love to see someone buy it and continue development.

  7. Franklin Frank says

    This is indeed sad news. I admire them for being unafraid to be orthogonal.


    Or does this signal the era of SMP/NUMAs for commercial apps? The new Intel processor (8proc*8core*16thread at over 2GHz), the improved chipsets (384 Gib per node)… Honestly, one of these is competative with a small SiCortex. The slow sequential part is much faster with the SMP-ish system, so by Amdahl the code may perform better overall. Cost TBA, but competing with Intel on cost at the high end is stupid. Even AMD only competes in the mid range / low end at this point. The others (Power, ARM) are in specific markets (regulatory, super-low-power).

  9. John West says

    What happens to the Pathscale compiler? It’s for sale now as part of the assets of the company:

  10. In a word, bugger. 🙁

    It was interesting technology (though not really useful for us) so it’s pretty sad to see an innovative company go pop.

  11. It is indeed sad.

    Another company that couldn’t market itself – to save it’s own life!

    Their story never resonated – their value proposition was weak and off target – and the perceived ego of the company was somewhat out of control – and got in the way of good, solid marketing.

    This is not just my opinion or the feelings of someone who had anything invested here. This is what I’ve heard numerous times – from well respected people – and I’m simply stating my agreement.

    This could be a textbook case study of how not to market a company.

  12. re: Skip
    Really? Can you give specifics about the marketing?

    As for ego, it takes ego to get a company off the ground. Weak egos need not apply.

    As for the “resonance:” the system was built for high processor count apps where the Tcomm component of time to solution was important. It worked and resonated there. If bigN isn’t your thing, or if your app didn’t need much communication, SiCortex probably wasn’t a match and wouldn’t resonate.
    We built the machine with particular markets in mind. It worked well in some of them, not well in others. That’s engineering for you.

    So, do you have something specific in mind relating to the marketing? (It would be useful to know timeframe as well — there really were two eras
    for marketing at SiCortex.)

    (I will say that I was never really on board with the whole Green thing — the machine was green, but the value prop was elsewhere.)

    And I do have something invested here — I was one of the egos. 😉

    I’m not being defensive, as much as I’m being curious.

    — founder, Chief Engineer, presales support, some amount of marketing —

  13. Henry Neeman says

    Well, there was the “Let’s build a supercomputer!” presentation from early 2008 (at least, that’s when I became aware of it).

    The message I got was, “You suck. Buy this.” I’m probably not the only person who didn’t much care for that ….