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Microsoft Hires Cray Supercomputer Scientist

Microsoft has hired Cray supercomputer developer Burton Smith to work in its growing high performance computing (HPC) effort.

Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that it will expand its efforts in supercomputing and the firm underscored its message with the unveiling of its first HPC product, the beta 2 version of Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003.

A founder of Tera Computer, which had acquired Cray Research in 2000, Smith had been serving as Cray’s chief scientist and helped develop MTA (multithreaded architecture) HPC technology.

In his keynote speech at Supercomputing 2005 this month, Microsoft’s Bill Gates said: “many of these challenges we face in software – connecting machines together, having parallel algorithms that allow many compute systems to work on a problem and combine their results together – these problems are very similar to the problems that exist in high-end supercomputing…

“I would say that technical computing is almost the third type of computing with a lot shared and a lot of special problem that need to be focused on. And so Microsoft is committed to work in each of these areas, understanding where our work can play in and how the state of the art can be advanced.”