Digital Equipment Corp has responded to the threat to its traditional scientific markets posed by IBM’s major push into the supercomputing market with the Vector Facility on the 3090 by signing a collaboration agreement with the world Number One in scientific supercomputing, Cray Research Inc. Details are sketchy, but the two companies say they will announce a new product and joint marketing development agreement on June 3, AP Dow Jones reports from New York. The importance of the announcement is underlined by the fact that it will be made jointly by DEC chief executive Kenneth Olsen and his counterpart at Cray, John Rollwagen. The expectation is that the two will initially simply announce a high-speed direct channel connection between DEC’s VAX minis and Cray’s supercomputers, enabling the two companies to provide a complete answer to IBM’s new 3090/120E with Vector Facility as well as IBM’s bigger 3090s with Vectors attached. The fact that DEC has nipped in and signed up Cray makes it unlikely that IBM will now sign a similar agreement with the Chippewa Falls company. Marc Shulman at Salomon Brothers suggests the announcement will be only the first step in an evolving relationship between DEC and Cray.
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