(Silicon Graphics International, Sunnyvale, CA, www.sgi.com) A manufacturer of servers and high-end workstations, founded in 1982 by Jim Clark. SGI shipped its first graphics terminal in 1983 and first workstation in 1984. Used in commercial, industrial and military applications, the company was founded as Silicon Graphics, Inc., but changed to its acronym in 1999. SGI used its own graphics technologies in a line of Unix and Linux workstations and servers geared to high-performance computing and visualization. Its custom chips and subsystems performed the tedious processing necessary to display objects on screen.|
Running a flight simulator or playing a game was always more realistic on an SGI computer, and SGI led the way in computer graphics until commodity chips from companies such as Intel and NVIDIA began to perform equally as well. In 1992, SGI acquired MIPS Technologies and, before spinning it off again in 2000, used its RISC-based microprocessors in most of its product lines. In 2009, SGI was acquired by Rackable Systems, Fremont, CA, and its name was later changed to Silicon Graphics International.
Clark has a penchant for creating innovative companies. He founded SGI in 1982 and Netscape in 1994. (Image courtesy of SGI.)
SGI's specialty was 3D graphics, and its visualization applications were always ahead of the pack. (Image courtesy of SGI.)