Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 26th Feb 2003 08:05 UTC
SGI and IRIX "A long time ago, in an economy far, far away, computer manufacturer Silicon Graphics Inc. was a powerful force. Hollywood studios courted its executives. They spent hundreds of millions of dollars on the company's colorful and whimsically named machines - "Indigo," "Crimson" and "Onyx," among others. [...] Not anymore. Consumed by its own ambition and wounded by the surging popularity of the free Linux operating system, SGI has lost its star power in Hollywood." Read the article at NewsObserver by P.J. Huffstutter.
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Too expensive
by marm on Wed 26th Feb 2003 12:15 UTC

Yet SGI have had 64-bit MIPS processors since the mid-nineties. Why not put them to use instead?

Because they're too expensive to develop. SGI isn't like IBM where they can just keep spending on their own CPUs to keep up with Intel. Now that Intel has their own 'commodity' 64-bit CPU it's easier and cheaper for SGI to use that rather than spending hundreds of millions on CPU development. They can use the money saved from that to try to keep ahead of Nvidia, ATI and 3Dlabs in graphics, or ahead of IBM and Sun on big-iron servers, which are far more of a threat to their livelihood. MIPS isn't crucial to SGI's well-being, but graphics and big servers certainly are.

Where possible, I think SGI wants to dump MIPS quickly. I'd be surprised if they come out with anything really new that uses MIPS, although I can imagine a few speedbumps and upgrades to their existing MIPS-based machines.