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Silicon Graphics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


This article is about Silicon Graphics, Inc. For the successor company, see Sili
con Graphics International.
Silicon Graphics, Inc. Sgilogo.png
Former type
Public
Industry
Computer hardware and software
Fate
Chapter 11 bankruptcy; assets acquired by Rackable Systems, which rename
d itself Silicon Graphics International Corp.
Founded
November 9, 1981; 34 years ago
Mountain View, California, U.S.[1]
Defunct
May 11, 2009
Headquarters
Sunnyvale, California, U.S.
Key people
Jim Clark,
Kurt Akeley,
Eng Lim Goh,
Ed McCracken,
Thomas Jermoluk
Products
High-performance computing, visualization and storage
Slogan Innovation for Results
Website
www.sgi.com
Silicon Graphics, Inc. (later rebranded SGI, historically known as Silicon Graph
ics Computer Systems or SGCS) was an American high-performance computing manufac
turer, producing computer hardware and software. Founded in Mountain View, Calif
ornia in November 1981 by Jim Clark, its initial market was 3D graphics computer
workstations, but its products, strategies and market positions developed signi
ficantly over time.
Early systems were based on the Geometry Engine that Clark and Marc Hannah had d
eveloped at Stanford University, and were derived from Clark's broader backgroun
d in computer graphics. The Geometry Engine was the first very-large-scale integ
ration (VLSI) implementation of a geometry pipeline, specialized hardware that a
ccelerated the "inner-loop" geometric computations needed to display three-dimen
sional images. For much of its history, the company focused on 3D imaging and we
re a major supplier of both hardware and software in this market.
They reincorporated as a Delaware corporation in January 1990. Through the mid t
o late-1990s, the rapidly improving performance of commodity Wintel machines beg
an to erode SGI's stronghold in the 3D market. The porting of Maya to other plat
forms is a major event in this process. SGI made several attempts to address thi
s, including a disastrous move from their existing MIPS platforms to the Intel I
tanium, as well as introducing their own Linux-based Intel IA-32 based workstati
ons and servers that failed in the market. In the mid-2000s the company repositi
oned itself as a supercomputer vendor, a move that also failed.
On April 1, 2009, SGI filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and announced t
hat it would sell substantially all of its assets to Rackable Systems, a deal fi
nalized on May 11, 2009, with Rackable assuming the name "Silicon Graphics Inter
national". The remains of Silicon Graphics, Inc. became Graphics Properties Hold
ings, Inc.