TECH SPACENEC And Cray Bury The Hatchet In Supercomputer Deal
NEC has concluded a distribution agreement with its long time rival Cray for the sales, installation and support of the NEC SX Series vector supercomputer product line.
The agreement gives Cray exclusive rights to distribute the NEC SX-5 Series and successor vector supercomputers in North America and non-exclusive rights in the rest of the world.
Cray will resell these supercomputers as one of its product lines exclusively in the US, Canada and Mexico. After confirming that it is permissible under applicable antitrust laws and regulations, Cray will sell NEC's high performance supercomputers in Europe and other areas under the non-exclusive right.
NEC and Cray will cooperate to promote sales activities for SX-5 Series and its successor models. In order to strengthen the relationship between the two companies in the field of supercomputers, NEC will invest $25M in Cray's non-voting preferred stock.
In order to facilitate performance of this agreement, it is necessary to revoke dumping duties to Japanese vector supercomputers in the U.S. and the revocation of these dumping duties is a condition for effectuation of this agreement.
NEC announced its first SX Series supercomputer in 1983. The SX-5 Series, which is the current and primary model under this agreement, is the fourth-generation product developed by NEC. Its peak vector processing speed is 5 TeraFlops (five trillion floating point operations per second) and it is the world's fastest vector supercomputer for commercial use.
The original Cray Research Inc. (CRI), founded by Seymour Cray, was a pioneering company in high performance computing. CRI was sold to Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) in February 1996; then acquired by Tera Computer Company in April 2000. Tera changed its name to Cray Inc. Cray will sell the vector supercomputer SV1 and SX-5 Series systems as well as other current Cray products.
Cray has in-depth experience in marketing supercomputers worldwide. This agreement will combine NEC's technology with Cray's sales and support infrastructure. Cray will now be able to respond to customers requiring high-end vector supercomputers by filling an important gap in its product line. NEC expects to expand its sales through Cray's sales channel.
As the sales rights will be transferred exclusively to Cray, NEC's current sales and support organization in North America, HNSX Supercomputers Inc., will be merged with Cray over the next 12 months.
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