June 2, 2004 2:40 PM PDT

Quadrics adds lower-end supercomputer switch

Quadrics, a company that sells networking gear to link lower-end machines into a cluster that acts like a single high-performance computer, has begun selling its newest technology to smaller customers.

The Bristol, U.K.-based company said this week that it has begun selling QsNetII E-Series network adapters and switches geared for eight-computer clusters. Switches for 48- to 128-computer clusters are due later this month, and further switches for 16- and 32-computer clusters are scheduled to arrive in August.

Quadrics has found a high-end niche for its technology, which competes with Myricom gear and with networking gear using the InfiniBand and Ethernet industry standards. The QsNetII E-series equipment was used in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Thunder supercomputer, made of 1,024 four-Itanium servers and completing 19.9 trillion calculations per second.

The lower-end components are geared for customers such as aeronautical and automotive engineers or universities, Quadrics said.

Quadrics supports its network adapters for Linux on Intel's Xeon and Itanium processors and on Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron. While Linux is popular in the high-performance computing cluster market, Microsoft is working to make its Windows operating system competitive in the market.


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