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Burlington, MA-based Exa sells Supercomputing as an on-demand service in the Cloud June 8, 2009

Posted by HubTechInsider in Supercomputing.
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Burlington, MA-based Exa sells supercomputing cycles as a Cloud service over the Internet.

Exa is a privately held 170-person outfit in burlington, MA that sells supercomputer time by the slice. The company was launched in 1992 by selling fluid dynamics simulation software one of its MIT founders created while a professor there.

The company owns a network of 3,500 Intel and AMD-based servers and has the capability to rent thousands more. These servers are housed by IBM in their Poughkeepsie, NY data center.

Exa charges around a dollar per processor core per hour for the supercomputer time, which is offered over the Internet using Exa’s modeling software as a “Cloud computing” option, much as Google lets users access documents and spreadsheets over the web or Amazon’s EC2 service rents out simple processing and storage capability.

Exa’s had revenues of $34 million in 2008, with on-demand supercomputer services accounting for $10.5 MM, up from 48% in 2007. Software sales grew a mere 13% to $21 million last year.

Selling supercomputing as a service is still just a tiny fraction of the $9.8 billion market for high-performance computing. But others such as oil-services firm Schlumberger are also selling supercomputing services to a select client base and industry vertical.

Exa has several customers with “bursty” supercomputing needs, such as Dodge and Peugeot, the U.S. National Bobsled Team, and tractor manufacturer Agco.

Maynard, MA Supercomputer maker SciCortex to shut down operations May 31, 2009

Posted by HubTechInsider in Supercomputing, Venture Capital.
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SciCortex, a high-efficiency supercomputer maker based in Maynard that employed around 80 people, is shutting its doors and ceasing operations. The company was backed by two venture capital firms: Cambridge, Mass.-based Flagship Ventures and Waltham, Mass.-based Polaris Venture Partners. The company had raised a $5 million venture round in January, and had raised a total of $37 million.

SciCortex’s primary product was a high powered computer needed for complex computations and scientific discovery that, it was claimed, was up to 80 percent more efficient than traditional supercomputers. Some of the company’s supercomputer units apparently could be plugged into standard AC wall sockets, unlike the more common supercomputers that need special industrial AC power connections.

The company’s primary customers included government and academic institutions that could not afford more expensive, traditional supercomputers. It was thought the company had sold around 70 units within the past year.

Gerbsman Partners, a California-based business consulting firm, claimed on a company blog that they had been retained by SciCortex’s board to solicite bids for the SciCortex assets, primarily its intellectual property.

The company’s public relations firm is Racepoint Group, based in Waltham.

SiCortex has not filed a bankruptcy protection in Massachusetts or Delaware, where it is incorporated.

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