Intel had some history in the 1980s running a high performance computing division and it produced top-tier national lab systems in its day. Now with Aurora supercomputer deal promising a Golden Dawn, the pundits are suggesting that it is a region that Intel could do well in, particularly if it is tied to a good integrator like Cray.
Chipzilla has been quietly building the bits to set up such an operation. It bought file system assets from Whamcloud for Lustre development, QLogic and Cray interconnect investments and several compiler and software companies that cater to HPC.
It could be a revival of a Cluster Ready programme but it could also be a slow build to a supercomputing business refresh.
What has enabled all this was Linux, which was not really around when Intel tried and failed last time. This means that OEMs can build reasonably good, affordable machines and unhinge the proprietary architecture of supercomputing. With Intel's Knights Landing technology, it makes such packages seem more possible,
Another key reason why Intel might make a push into this area is because it has the money where as smaller outfits like Cray don't It takes a lot of dosh to set up a supercomputer and you need the cash up front. A partnership with Cray, as we have seen with the Aurora project, backed with Intel cash makes a powerful combo.