SGI - The end is coming

Silicon Graphics Inc, was one of the computer manufacturers that made many dream when they were younger.

SGI's technology has been used in Hollywood films like Jurassic Park III, Planet of the Apes and Pearl Harbour although its core customers have always been in the corporate markets.

Their trademark signature was the blue colour of their workstations. Like Apple, Silicon Graphics is also a proprietary manufacturer - whose platform is not compatible with the x86 family - but unlike Steve Jobs' company, they have failed to keep up to date with the market.

The performance of Personal Computers has rapidly grown over the past decade and is certainly one of the reasons why SGI has now filed for bankruptcy and is on the brink of disappearing completely.

SGI had a proprietary line of processors - MIPS and their own operating system - IRIS - but their main contribution to the graphics world has been the release of OpenGL Application Programming Interface which is still the industry standard when Professional applications are considered.

In recent years, SGI purchased Cray, which is better known for its super computers and mainframes, and attempted to crack the nut of the x86 workstations with a number of Intel-based computers but this venture proved not only to be costly in terms of capital but also of Goodwill.

Like HP, SGI had promised to phase out MIPS - and replace them by Intel's own products. Unfortunately, the plan backfired and as of today, SGI still has Intel Itanium 2 processors running parallel to MIPS ones.

Although HP has been going through the same process, HP is much larger than SGI and can count on other segments like consumer peripherals to keep its workstation/mainframe business floating. SGI was not as lucky.