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HPCwire's 2006 Readers' and Editors' Choice Awards

2005 Readers' Choice Awards
2005 Awards Presentation - Tom Tabor, HPCwire with Reza Rooholamini, Dell

2006 has been an exciting year for the growing number of companies either supplying or using the technology and products that push the envelope of high-end, data- and computationally-intensive computing. Some might say it's been a tumultuous year.

The traditional boundaries that have defined the HPC market segment no longer exist. HPC is rapidly becoming ubiquitous. And, as the ecosystem of HPC evolves and expands, the landscape is changing with the appearance of many new and exciting participants.

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Top 5 Companies to Watch in 2007

We believe the 2006 HPCwire Readers' and Editors' Choice Awards, determined by a random poll of our global readers, contributing editors, and industry luminaries, depicts the new face of the HPC community quite well. We have more end-user organizations being recognized for their groundbreaking work than ever before. And each of these end-users is a testimony to the innovation and commitment delivered by the vendors who make up the HPC infrastructure.

We are proud to present the collective opinion of the HPC community and we congratulate the winners of the 2006 HPCwire Readers' and Editors' Choice Awards.

- Visit the 2006 Awards Photo Gallery -

Most innovative implementation of an HPC application in Manufacturing

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

Tata Motors

Tata Motors Limited is India's largest automobile company, with revenues of Rs. 24,000 crores (USD 5.5 billion) in 2005-06. It is the leader by far in commercial vehicles in each segment, and the second largest in the passenger vehicles market with winning products in the compact, midsize car and utility vehicle segments. The company is the world's fifth largest medium and heavy commercial vehicle manufacturer. The company has been chosen as India's Most Trusted Brand in cars in a Readers Digest-AC Nielsen consumer survey. The survey looked at trustworthiness, credible image, quality, value, understanding of customer needs and innovativeness. In a Readers Digest-AC Nielsen consumer survey looking at factors such as trustworthiness, credible image, quality, value, undestanding of customer needs and innovativeness, Tata Motors was chosen as India's Most Trusted Brand in cars. www.tatamotors.com

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:


Boeing is one of the world's leading aerospace companies and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined, with capabilities in rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems.

Boeing's use of HPC technology is dominated by Aerodynamics CFD, but is also utilized by Structures, Propulsion, Electromagnetics, Acoustics, Finite-Element Analysis, and cabin environment analyses. Some of the newer technologies using HPC are unsteady analysis, turbulent flow modeling, and flutter.

Boeing could not be competitive in the commercial airplane market without extensive use of HPC. Even small, incremental performance improvements in our products have the potential to make a huge difference in our bottom line. Less design time using fewer resources (physical testing is very expensive in the aerospace world) is the end result of intelligent use of HPC resources. www.boeing.com

Most innovative use of HPC in Life Sciences

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:


GlaxoSmithKline is one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. GlaxoSmithKline is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For company information visit www.gsk.com.

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:


Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. www.merck.com

Most innovative use of HPC in Automotive

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

Toyota Motorsport GmbH

Toyota Motorsport GmbH is the fully-owned motor sports subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Corporation, one of the world's most successful automotive manufacturers. Operating from its factory in Cologne, Germany, Toyota Motorsport runs the Panasonic Toyota Racing Formula 1 team, building its entire F1 car, both chassis and engine, in-house under one roof. www.toyota-f1.com

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:


With the three brands, BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, the BMW Group has its sights set firmly on the premium sector of the international automobile market. To achieve its aims, the company knows how to deploy its strengths with an efficiency that is unmatched in the automotive industry. From research and development to sales and marketing, BMW Group is committed to the very highest in quality for all its products and services. The company's phenomenal success is proof of this strategy's correctness. www.bmw.com

Most innovative use of HPC in Financial Services

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

D. E. Shaw Group

The D. E. Shaw group is a global investment and technology development firm. Since its organization in 1988, the firm has earned an international reputation for financial innovation, technological leadership, and an extraordinarily distinguished staff. The D. E. Shaw group encompasses a number of closely related entities with approximately 1000 employees, $25 billion in aggregate investment capital, and offices in New York, London, Silicon Valley, Houston, Kansas City, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Hyderabad, India. www.deshaw.com/WhoWeAre.html

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:

JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.3 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset and wealth management, and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. has its corporate headquarters in New York and its U.S. retail financial services and commercial banking headquarters in Chicago. Under the JPMorgan and Chase brands, the firm serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients. www.jpmorganchase.com

Most innovative use of HPC in Oil and Gas

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:


Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading energy companies. With more than 55,000 employees, Chevron subsidiaries conduct business in over 180 countries around the world, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas, and refining, marketing, and distributing fuels and other energy products. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information on Chevron is available at www.chevron.com.

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:


BP is one of the world's largest energy companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items. BP's business is about finding, producing and marketing the natural energy resources on which the modern world depends. BP has transformed, growing from a local oil company into a global energy group; employing over 96,000 people and operating in over 100 countries worldwide. www.bp.com

Most innovative use of HPC in Entertainment

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

Microsoft Xbox Live

HPC is not so much a market segment as a "community." And Microsoft knows how to build communities. Microsoft Xbox Live is powering an online community that is appealing to several generations. Beginning November 22, on its first anniversary, Xbox 360 will be the first gaming console in history to provide standard- and high-definition TV shows and movies direct to you in the comfort of your home. Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to build a global online community with Xbox Live - and the HPC community has taken notice - not just to the power required to drive such an effort - but also to the product itself. www.microsoft.com/xbox

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:

Threshold Animation Studios

Threshold Animation Studios is a digital entertainment company that produces digitally animated feature films, television, location-based entertainment, direct-to-DVD movies and visual effects specifically targeted to families and intended for a broad, cross-generation appeal. Threshold Animation Studios has a technology partnership with IBM's On Demand Deep Computing Group to help manage the two biggest challenges in modern animation - Process Control and Large Scale Rendering. www.thresholdanimationstudios.com

Best HPC collaboration between government and industry

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

Ohio Supercomputer Center
"Blue Collar Computing Initiative"

The innovative Blue Collar Computing program at the Ohio Supercomputer Center gives small- and medium-sized companies access to HPC technologies for product and process design and virtual prototyping through modeling and simulation. Through Blue Collar Computing's expertise, training, outreach and partnerships, supercomputing can become a reality for all industrial clients, thereby benefiting the country's economic competitiveness. www.bluecollarcomputing.org

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:

"Private Sector Program"

NCSA (National Center for Supercomputing Applications) is a unique state-federal partnership to develop and deploy national-scale cyberinfrastructure that advances science and engineering. Located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, NCSA is one of the leading National Science Foundation-supported supercomputing centers. Additional support comes from the state of Illinois, the University of Illinois, private sector partners, and other federal agencies. www.ncsa.uiuc.edu

Most significant new HPC hardware product

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

ClearSpeed Technology

ClearSpeed Technology is a specialist semiconductor company focused on delivering double precision high performance coprocessors and boards to be used alongside general purpose processors in the world's most compute-intensive applications. ClearSpeed's advanced multithreaded array processing technology provides the ability to significantly accelerate data-intensive applications at extremely low power. Products include chips, boards, software tools, applications and support. ClearSpeed has offices in San Jose, California and Bristol, UK and has 84 patents granted and pending. For more information on ClearSpeed, visit www.clearspeed.com.

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:

Liquid Computing

Liquid Computing Corporation is first to deliver a new class of computer system called LiquidIQ to meet the needs of scalable computing users within Enterprise High Performance Computing and Software as a Service markets. LiquidIQ is an Interconnect Driven Server that delivers a set of managed computing and communications resources. It can be configured with software commands into one or several cluster configurations, shared memory or cache coherent server regions at best lifecycle economics and uncompromising performance, scalability and availability. www.liquidcomputing.com

Best price/performance HPC hardware solution

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:


HP has been the HPC market share leader for over three years. HP holds this leadership position year after year by providing the broadest choice of complete, scalable, standards-based solutions for high performance computation, data management, and visualization. HP delivers affordable, accessible supercomputing performance that allows more customers around the globe to tackle larger, more difficult scientific and engineering problems than ever before. HP is a global technology solutions provide with over $90 billion in annual revenue and over $3 billion invested annually in R&D. For more information go to www.hp.com/go/hptc.

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:

Sun Microsystems

A singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world's most important markets. Sun's philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of what they call the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. www.sun.com/servers/...

Most innovative HPC storage technology or product

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:


Crosswalk® delivers an innovative storage architecture that integrates the simplicity of network-attached storage with the performance advantages of parallel file systems to create the first storage grid that can support both high performance computing and enterprise datacenter environments. The iGridTM Intelligent Storage Grid System provides a single shared view of storage, thereby eliminating the complexity associated with managing traditional storage architectures. Performance, access to data, and storage capacity can scale in a non-disruptive fashion regardless of the number of applications, servers, or storage devices it supports. For more information visit www.crosswalkinc.com.

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:



Best price/performance HPC storage technology or product

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

DataDirect Networks

DataDirect Networks is recognized leader in high performance, high capacity network storage solutions. Focused on driving customer-centric innovation, DataDirect Networks has created the Silicon Storage Appliance as the essential building block for high performance computing, oil and gas, internet-based services and rich media storage solutions. DataDirect Networks' award winning Silicon Storage Appliance enables the creation of differentiated high performance, high capacity NAS and SAN storage, parallel and shared file system storage, primary and nearline storage, and virtual tape library storage solutions. Each solution offers unsurpassed performance, high availability, cost effective scalability and simplified management delivering the industry's best price-per-performance and best per-capacity-per-square foot solutions. Launched in 1998 and headquartered in California, DataDirect Networks has an established global presence with research and development, and operations in the United States, Europe and Asia. For more information, contact DataDirect Networks at +1-800-TERABYTE (837-2298) or info@datadirectnet.com. www.datadirectnet.com/company.html

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:


Panasas, Inc. helps companies and organizations accelerate their time to results, leading to real world breakthroughs that improve people's lives. Panasas enables customers to maximize the benefits of Linux clusters by breaking down the storage bottleneck created by legacy network storage technologies. Through the delivery of the company's ActiveStor Storage Cluster platform, which combines industry-standard hardware with the company's ActiveScale PanFS parallel file system and professional services, the company has become the established leader in object-based, clustered storage. Target markets include energy (oil and gas), CAE/CFD, EDA, government, academia, special-effects animation, finance and biosciences. Panasas, the leader in HPC Clustered Storage solutions, is headquartered in Fremont, CA., with development facilities in Pittsburgh, Pa. www.panasas.com

Most significant new HPC software product

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

The Portland Group
"PGI Visual Fortran"

The Portland Group (PGI) is the premier supplier of optimizing parallel Fortran, C and C++ compilers and development tools for Intel and AMD processor-based workstations, servers and clusters. PGI compilers deliver world-class x64 performance through global and whole program optimization, vectorization, automatic and user-directed parallelization, memory hierarchy optimizations, and profile feedback optimization. PGI compilers are unique in their ability to generate PGI Unified Binary executables which contain code sequences fully optimized for both Intel and AMD processors. The PGDBG debugger and PGPROF profiler included in the PGI compiler suite are fully OpenMP and MPI capable, rounding out a complete integrated toolset for development, debugging and tuning of HPC applications on Linux or Windows. The latest addition to the PGI product line is PGI Visual Fortran, a version of the PGI Fortran compiler integrated with Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 to create the ideal Fortran development environment for x64 processor-based personal workstations, servers and Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server. www.pgroup.com/products/pvf.htm

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:

Interactive Supercomputing

Star-P from Interactive Supercomputing is an interactive parallel computing platform. With automatic parallelization and interactive execution of existing desktop simulation applications, Star-P merges two previously distinct environments - desktop computers and high performance servers - into one. Star-P is used in a wide range of security, intelligence, manufacturing, energy, biomedical, financial, and scientific research applications. www.interactivesupercomputing.com

Best price/performance HPC software product

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

Verari Systems

Verari Systems, Inc. is the premier developer of powerful, flexible, and scalable platform-independent blade computing systems that are defining a new era in high performance utility computing for the enterprise datacenter. Enterprises such as Akamai, Lockheed Martin, Lucasfilm, Ltd., Northrop Grumman, Qualcomm, Sony Imageworks, Veritas DGC and Walt Disney Feature Animation, as well as top universities and research institutions worldwide, are among the customers who have chosen Verari Systems' line of high density blade server clusters, rack-optimized servers and award-winning software solutions. www.verari.com/about.asp

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:


Founded in 1997, Scali is the leading developer of clustering solutions that enable companies to maximize the performance of their datacenters. Hundreds of companies including Goodyear, DaimlerChrysler, Lockheed Martin, US Army and Naval Air, Schlumberger and Shell benefit from using Scali's cluster management solutions and MPI libraries. Scali helps these customers fully leverage their datacenter investments, respond quickly to evolving business requirements, lower IT costs and reduce datacenter complexity. The company is headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts with research and development at company headquarters, Oslo, Norway and Nagpur, India. www.scali.com

Most innovative HPC visualization product or technology

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:


NVIDIA Corporation is the worldwide leader in programmable graphics processor technologies. The Company creates innovative, industry-changing products for computing, consumer electronics, and mobile devices. NVIDIA is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA and has offices throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas. www.nvidia.com

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:


NVIDIA Corporation is the worldwide leader in programmable graphics processor technologies. The Company creates innovative, industry-changing products for computing, consumer electronics, and mobile devices. NVIDIA is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA and has offices throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas. www.nvidia.com

Best price/performance visualization product or technology

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

"EnSight Lite"

Engineers and scientists throughout the world rely on CEI to deliver the tools they need for visualizing complex datasets. Their requirements drive CEI to continually provide newer, increasingly powerful, and more accessible solutions. Well-designed, scalable software allows CEI to deliver the advanced capabilities needed to handle the industry's most-challenging demands. EnSight Lite, EnSight Standard, EnSight Gold and EnSight DR, CEI's core products, are used by more than 1,500 engineers and scientists worldwide. EnLiten, Reveal, EnVideo and EnVe are used to share the power of visualization throughout the enterprise. www.ensight.com

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:


In late October, AMD announced it had completed the acquisition of ATI Technologies Inc., approximately a $5.4 billion deal.

Moving into 2007, AMD plans on combining the complementary strengths of the two technology leaders: AMD's technology leadership in microprocessors and ATI's leadership in graphics, chipsets and consumer electronics.

AMD plans to deliver a range of integrated platforms in 2007 to serve key markets, including: commercial clients; mobile computing; and gaming and media computing.

Customers should benefit from AMD's and ATI's combined platform development and technical support teams, which will be co-located in Taipei and Shanghai. Combined with the existing Austin and Toronto locations, these sites offer research and development and support to provide customers with a complete solution for optimized platform development. www.atitech.ca/products/workstation.html

Most important HPC networking product or technology

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:


Cisco Systems, Inc. is a worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Today, networks are an essential part of business, education, government and home communications, and Cisco's Internet Protocol-based (IP) networking solutions are the foundation of these networks. Cisco was founded in 1984 by a small group of computer scientists from Stanford University. Since the company's inception, Cisco engineers have been leaders in the development of Internet Protocol (IP)-based networking technologies. Today, with more than 47,000 employees worldwide, this tradition of innovation continues with industry-leading products and solutions in the company's core development areas of routing and switching, as well as in advanced technologies such as IP communications, network security, wireless LAN, storage area networking, home networking, video systems, and application networking services. www.cisco.com

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:

Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks develops purpose-built, high performance IP platforms that enable customers to support a wide variety of services and applications at scale. Service providers, enterprises, governments and research and education institutions rely on Juniper to deliver a portfolio of proven networking, security and application acceleration solutions that solve highly complex, fast-changing problems in the world's most demanding networks. Additional information can be found at www.juniper.net.

Best price/performance HPC networking product or technology

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

Mellanox Technologies

Mellanox Technologies is a leading supplier of semiconductor-based, high-performance interconnect products that facilitate data transmission between servers and storage systems through communications infrastructure equipment. Our products are an integral part of a total solution focused on computing, storage and communication applications used in enterprise data centers, high-performance computing and embedded systems. Based on InfiniBand technology, our field-proven adapter and switch integrated circuits deliver industry-leading performance and capabilities, and serve as the building blocks for creating reliable and scalable interconnect solutions. Founded in 1999, Mellanox Technologies is headquartered in Santa Clara, California and Yokneam, Israel. For more information, please visit www.mellanox.com.

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:


Voltaire is a worldwide leader in grid backbone solutions for networked computing in the next generation data center. Voltaire's integrated family of switching hardware and network virtualization software delivers the high-performance, intelligent backbone for grid computing architectures. Leveraging the InfiniBand standard, Voltaire solutions offer improved performance, utilization and scalability across compute clusters, storage and IP networks. Voltaire solutions are available from major systems vendors and integrators. www.voltaire.com/index

Most innovative HPC cluster solution

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:


Appro's headquarters is in Milpitas, CA with an R&D and manufacturing center in Asia and a sales and service office in Houston, Texas. APPRO accelerates technical, IT and business results through its innovative product architecture, industry leading engineering, people, and experience. APPRO develops powerful, scalable, and reliable clusters, servers, storage subsystems and high-end workstations for the high-performance computing (HPC), Internet computing and cluster market. www.appro.com

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:

HP Unified Cluster Portfolio

HP has been the HPC market share leader for over three years. HP holds this leadership position year after year by providing the broadest choice of complete, scalable, standards-based solutions for high performance computation, data management, and visualization. HP delivers affordable, accessible supercomputing performance that allows more customers around the globe to tackle larger, more difficult scientific and engineering problems than ever before. HP is a global technology solutions provide with over $90 billion in annual revenue and over $3 billion invested annually in R&D. For more information go to www.hp.com/go/hptc.

Best price/performance HPC cluster solution

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:


Dell high performance computing clusters help solve some of the most challenging computational intensive tasks facing business, educational and scientific communities. By integrating the latest advances in industry-standard servers, high speed interconnects and leading open source and commercial software, Dell's HPC clusters deliver the performance of proprietary SMP (symmetric multiprocessing) systems, with the simplicity and value of industry standard computing. www.dell.com/hpcc

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:

Sun Microsystems

A singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer" -- guides Sun in the development of technologies that power the world's most important markets. Sun's philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is at the forefront of what they call the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. www.sun.com/servers/...

Top HPC vendor for 2006

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:


IBM collaborates with clients to apply powerful, innovative deep computing solutions to some of today's most challenging and complex problems - enabling businesses and researchers to get results faster and gain a sustainable business advantage and to push the boundaries of scientific discovery. IBM remains the leader on the TOP500 list of supercomputers due to its ability to offer clients the broadest portfolio of deep computing solutions today. For more information visit www.ibm.com/deepcomputing.

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:

Cray Inc.

Cray Inc. is the global market leader in high-end supercomputers.

Cray is dedicated to helping customers solve the most demanding, most crucial computing problems on the planet - designing the cars and trucks we drive, creating new materials and life-saving drugs, predicting severe weather and climate change, analyzing complex data structures, safeguarding national security, and a host of other applications that benefit humanity by advancing the frontiers of science and engineering.

Cray has over 800 employees worldwide. Our corporate headquarters is in Seattle, Washington with major research and manufacturing facilities in Mendota Heights, Minnesota and Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. In addition, Cray maintains sales and service locations across the U.S. and the world.

Cray Inc.'s customers include many of the world's leading automotive, aerospace, petroleum and chemical/pharmaceutical companies; weather forecasting and global climate research centers; major academic research centers; and government agencies in the U.S. and abroad. www.cray.com

HPC Public Awareness Award

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

Council on Competitiveness
"HPC Initiative"

The Council on Competitiveness is a non-profit, non-partisan policy action group that sets action agendas to drive U.S. competitiveness and economic leadership. Founded in 1986, the Council's focus is on competitive innovation in domestic and world markets, developing a cutting-edge workforce, and measuring the country's economic performance in a global economy.

Through a series of reports and studies which commenced in 1998 and continue today, the Council has tied innovation to U.S. economic prosperity and leadership. As a result, innovation has been a key factor in many Council initiatives.

The Council shapes the debate on competitiveness by concentrating on specific critical issues and researching them deeply. Conferences, seminars, and special events are used to disseminate the Council's findings and recommendations to experts, policy makers, government officials, media and the general public. It strategically convenes business, labor, academia and government leaders to collaborate innovative action. www.compete.org/hpc

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 1,700 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes nearly 10,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $400 million in professional and service contracts yearly. www.nsf.gov

HPC Community Recognition Award

Readers' Choice Award Recipient:

Suzy Tichenor
Council on Competitiveness - HPC Initiative

Suzy Tichenor is Vice President of the Council on Competitiveness, and directs their High Performance Computing Initiative. She has over 20 years of experience creating partnerships and programs at all levels of the government, private sector and not-for-profit organizations. A Vice President of the Council from 1993-1997, she launched the first analyses of the economic impact of the converging telecommunications and computing infrastructures into a National Information Infrastructure at a time when the Internet was not widely used outside of academia. Previously she held senior positions at Cray Research, a start-up health care firm and a national non-profit. She received her bachelors degree from Vanderbilt University, MBA from Marymount University and completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard University. www.compete.org/hpc

Editors' Choice Award Recipient:

Donald L. (Don) Paul
Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

Donald L. Paul is vice president and chief technology officer of Chevron Corporation. He is responsible for managing Chevron's R&D, IT, Technology Ventures and technology support across the entire spectrum of the company's business activities.

A native of Los Angeles, California, he is a graduate of MIT, with a B.S. in applied mathematics, am M.S. in geology and geophysics and a Ph.D. in geophysics.

Paul joined Chevron in 1975. During his 31-year career, Paul has held a variety of management positions of increasing responsibility in operations, technology, and corporate management.

Paul is extensively involved in external management roles with partners, universities, governments, and professional technical societies. He has served as member of the National Research Council, the 1997 Presidential Panel on Federal Energy R&D, and currently serves on a major study for the Secretary of Energy by the National Petroleum Council on the future of global oil and gas supplies. www.chevron.com

Top Five Companies to watch in 2007

No one can deny the impact AMD has had on the HPC market. The Opteron processor was chosen for numerous design wins and fueled a wave of competition with Intel that drove price points and performance metrics to new levels. With the acquisition of ATI Technologies, AMD has rounded out its portfolio to better position the company for a new wave of innovation and growth. Incorporating ATI's technology in graphics, chipsets and consumer electronics, AMD plans to create a new class of x86 processor that integrates the central processing unit (CPU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) at the silicon level with a broad set of design initiatives the company has codenamed "Fusion."

But what does that mean to the HPC stakeholders? AMD is well poised for continued growth within the expanding HPC market segment - but the company's biggest challenge may come in convincing organizations and vendors planning their 3-5 year strategies that AMD still sees this as an important and fertile market and one that AMD will continue to support with conviction. AMD spokespeople have been heard disclaiming any ongoing interest in the HPC market segment stating that "HPC is dead" - a comment that a number of companies find quite disturbing - since their future HPC products are based on the Opteron processor family. Miscommunication? Misunderstanding?

Tremendous momentum, performance leadership, confusing messages! Everyone in the HPC ecosystem will be watching AMD in 2007. www.amd.com

We picked ClearSpeed for several reasons: Technology, Messaging, Focus, and Management.

When partners like Intel applaud you for helping them deliver "breakthrough" capabilities, it's a pretty good sign that you are doing something right. ClearSpeed has an impressive portfolio when it comes to performance acceleration. It's what they do. And they do it really well.

Increasing performance without impacting the power requirements. Do you think the HPC community finds this interesting? Darn right they do.

And there's no confusion here. When you're looking for a company that really "gets it" in terms of messaging, we have to tip our hats to ClearSpeed. This is a company that knows what they do best and they tell their story well. Conversations with their employees and even their external PR agency are consistent and on point. It's actually quite impressive.

ClearSpeed's challenge in 2007 will be competing with commodity alternatives. The high-volume, lower-cost solutions that are being marketed to the same companies looking for improved floating point performance. ClearSpeed is well aware of this - and their marketing efforts are focusing on distancing the company from its commodity competitors.

In August of 2006, ClearSpeed added a key member to its management team - Stephen McKinnon - who joined ClearSpeed as Chief Operating Officer. McKinnon is an Intel veteran with more than 25 years of semiconductor industry experience. He's a pro. So now, add a solid management team to that powerful combination of technology, messaging and focus, and you have a very impressive combination that makes ClearSpeed a company worth watching. www.clearspeed.com.

For as far back as we can remember, vendors of computing platforms in the traditional HPC community have stated that volume sales and improved profits will come along when HPC products and technologies realize widespread, commercial adoption. What we in HPC refer to as "the mainstream." But, the realization of mainstream adoption has always been a stretch. Why? Many reasons ranging from price, access and usability. We see that changing.

We picked Microsoft as one of our Top 5 Companies (in HPC) to Watch in 2007 because we see the company as a catalyst to solving the application bottleneck through its robust development environment, its market power in building ecosystems and its relentless drive for interoperable frameworks. The net effect will be broader adoption of HPC solutions across a large, underserved global midrange market. After all, at the end of the day, that elusive volume the vendors have been seeking is all dependent on application availability and application usability.

There are some pretty big challenges here - pricing, segment knowledge, support, confidence, behavior and trust. For Microsoft to succeed as a driving force in HPC, the company needs to truly become part of the community - involving itself in its future evolution. There are very few suppliers who can orchestrate that - but Microsoft can. And we think they will.

Microsoft is one of our top picks to watch in 2007. We expect their influence to be broad and shape the evolving HPC landscape. www.microsoft.com

To say the last few years have been rocky for SGI is an understatement. The marketplace seems to be watching and waiting. Missed fortunes, poor execution and damaged customer relationships all but crippled the company. However, many people are still very passionate about SGI, with brand and customer loyalty exceeding current revenue. Not a bad place to be - IF the new management can catalyze the marketplace into "falling in love with SGI" once again. For SGI, the fundamentals are all solid: historic understanding of the market, technology, customers, applications and workflows. At one time SGI was synonymous with innovation around graphics and visualization. So, what will the next act be?

The challenges for SGI are significant. The new leadership has no historic ties to the HPC market and desperately needs to provide greater clarity around the company's strategy. We like the way SGI has extended the boundaries of traditional HPC into high performance data management, real-time enterprise infrastructure and server consolidation for SAP environments, but to the classic SGI customer, this screams of a staged exit. The end users have seen it all before. There is a graveyard of vendors who have tried to bridge the HPC-to-Enterprise chasm. IBM has been the only one to succeed, and that has been via its historic presence in key markets. SGI will need to straddle some fences over the next year as it sharpens its execution and position in its core HPC segments and builds the ecosystem, brand and knowledge necessary to move the company into critical new domains. www.sgi.com.

SiCortex is looking to change the conversation and value proposition for HPC - dramatically. While still in stealth mode, the tagline on their website read: "More delivered performance per dollar, per watt, and per square foot." That sounds like a company that understands the importance of a business value proposition and critical for a company breaking into the HPC space these days. It's also evidence of a seasoned management team.

Environmentals - heat, power, space - are definitely becoming critical issues and will define not only HPC but large-scale computing environments over the next decade. Whether it is Chevron, Morgan Stanley or Google, the current strategy around "extreme computing" is hitting a wall. Is SiCortex the answer? Conceptually we love the idea. The question is will the market love it as well? And, more importantly, will Intel and AMD define their own parameters and lock out the innovators?

Success in any market segment hinges on many, many factors - software, business design, core technology, channel, evangelism and psychology - human motivation. Since the company has been operating in stealth-mode and just rolling out their first product announcements, the details on the total offering remain unclear. What we do know is SiCortex is going to be in a race to define the issues on its own terms. Good for them. The challenge for this company is that the race is both a sprint and a marathon. www.sicortex.com

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