SGI faces possible bankruptcy or acquisition

— 9:29 AM on February 10, 2006

The company that practically invented modern computer graphics, Silicon Graphics Incorporated, is facing truly tough times and may have to consider bankruptcy if it can't find another way out. SGI's own SEC filings are the source of this info, and the company reckons its only way of avoiding bankruptcy may be to get acquired:

In order to improve its business, SGI will consider measures ranging from axing or selling off product lines to pursuing "a strategic partner or acquirer." The hardware maker will basically look at anything and everything to remain a going concern.
SGI has been struggling for some time, but I think this bit from the Register's story captures the true essence of its current situation:
The company's revenue has declined at speed, as it struggles to deal with a transition away from homemade technology to a product line dominated by the Linux operating system running on Intel's flagging Itanium processor.
Yikes. If the Itanium is your great source of hope for the future, you may want to warn stockholders of an imminent crash—and that's precisely what SGI has done.

I first saw this bit of news in JBI's forum post. As he says, "I suppose this isn't a huge surprise, given their recent delisting from the NYSE. Still, it's a sad chapter for those -- like me -- who fondly remember them at their height back in the early '90s." The race between graphics players like ATI, NVIDIA, 3dfx, and the rest has been characterized as a competition to see who has the best ex-SGI engineers. Unfortunately, SGI wasn't willing to turn its graphics tech into a commodity on a chip, and it failed to capitalize on a monumental opportunity. I could see one of today's top graphics chip firms buying SGI's remains just to acquire the patents.

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