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Silicon Graphics
Silicon Graphics, Inc. · SGI

Silicon Graphics, Inc., also known as SiliconGraphics or SGI, 1 was an American manufacturer of high-performance computer hardware, supercomputers and software, founded on 9 November 1981 by Jim Clark, and headquartered in Mountain View (California, USA). The company's initial market was high-end 3D graphics computer workstations, but changed significantly over time.

Original logo of Silicon Graphics Computer Systems (9 Nov 1981 - 13 Apr 1999) designed by Scott Kim [2]

The company is best known for its Geometry Engine – developed by Jim Clark and Marc Hannah – which became the first very-large-scale integration (VLSI) implementation of a geometry pipeline — decicated hardware that does the computations for displaying 3D images. It became the crown jewels of the company. But as time went by, the performance of regular Wintel computers (PCs) rapidly increased at a much lower cost, and gradually started eroding SGI's market position.

SGI scrambled to address these marketing issues, but made several bad decisions. The move from their existing MIPS platforms — since 1992 owned by SGI — to the Intel Itanium, turned out to be a diastrous one. In addition, their own Linux-based Intel IA-32 based workstations and servers failed in the market. SGI then tried to reposition itself as a vendor of supercomputers.

Later logo of Silicon Graphics, Inc. (13 Apr 1999 - 11 May 2009) designed by Joseph Stitzlein (Landor Associates) [2]

SGI acquired several companies, including Alias (1995), Wavefront (1995), Cray Research (1996) and Intergraph (2000), but could not transform itself into a successful operation again. After selling some of its recent acquisitions, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 1 April 2009. Most of the assets were taken over by Rackable Systems, who also assumed the name Silicon Graphics International. The remainder became Graphics Properties Holdings, Inc. [1].

Later logo of Silicon Graphics International. (11 May 2009 - 1 Nov 2016) before the company was taken over by Hewlett Packard Enterprise [2]

On 1 November 2016, Silicon Graphics International (the former Rackable Systems) was acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). With the acquisition, HPE was able to add the SGI Pleiades — a TOP500 supercomputer used at NASA Ames Research Center — to its product portfolio [1].

  1. Initially founded as Silicon Graphics Computer Systems (SGCS).

  1. Wikipedia, Silicon Graphics
    Visited 19 February 2022.

  2. Logopedia, Silicon Graphics Inc.
    Retrieved 21 February 2022.
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