Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has a shiny new toy. The information technology firm announced today that is spending $1.3 billion to acquire supercomputer manufacturer Cray. HPE, which is a business-facing spin-off of the Hewlett Packard company, will instantly become a bigger presence in the world of academia and the federal government, where Cray has a number of significant contracts. It will also enable HPE to start selling supercomputer components to corporate clients and others.
The Seattle-based Cray may not be a household name but the company has become an essential cog in the world of data processing. The company is currently working with AMD on a US government-backed project to build the world's first exascale supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The system will be capable of a quintillion calculations per second. Last year, Japan tapped Cray to create the world's fastest supercomputer to be used for advanced nuclear fusion research. According to Top500.org, a service that tracks the performance of supercomputers, Cray is responsible for three of the top 10 most powerful systems in the world.