SGI is dropping its IA-32 series of desktop computers and servers and will instead concentrate on high-end 64-bit Itanium machines.
SGI New Zealand regional manager Scott Houston says it was a case of choosing between focusing on the 32-bit Pentium 4 or the 64-bit end of the business.
Last month SGI launched in New Zealand its 64-bit Itanium-based 750 box running Linux. SGI has not yet sold any, but Houston says there has been interest. He expects the first sales to go to developers of 64-bit Linux applications, and research and academic institutions.
Houston says a lot of the IA-32 customer base was made up of Linux developers and there was some disappointment at the decision. “But they absolutely see that we’re focusing on high-end graphics and computation which will come from Itanium. In the high-end graphics space we are taking technology such as visualisation, which was only available on Unix, and deploying it in the Intel market.”
About 30% of SGI New Zealand’s customers use Intel machines. Houston says the other 70% use RISC-based boxes running SGI’s flavour of Unix — Irix.
Users of SGI in New Zealand include Weta Digital, Auckland University, TVNZ, interactive software development company Oktober, EDS and Digital Post.