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Intel to buy key assets from supercomputer maker Cray

The chipmaker is bulking up its interconnect portfolio by purchasing technology from the supercomputer pioneer in a $140 million deal.

Supercomputer maker Cray will sell its interconnect hardware development program and related intellectual property to Intel for $140 million in cash, the two companies announced today.

Up to 74 Cray employees will join Intel, Cray said. The company currently employs approximately 800 people worldwide.

"By broadening our relationship with Intel, we are positioned to further penetrate the [high-performance computing] market," said Peter Ungaro, president and CEO of Cray, in a statement.

Ungaro continued, "This agreement also dramatically strengthens our balance sheet and increases our options for further growth, profitability and creating shareholder value."

Cray said it will continue to develop, sell, and support current product lines, as well as the company's next-generation supercomputer code-named Cascade.

Intel said it gains access to "Cray's world-class interconnect personnel and intellectual property." Interconnect technology is a high-speed link between high-performance computers.

The transaction is expected to close relatively quickly, subject to customary closing conditions, the companies said.

Intel is apparently on an interconnect buying binge. In January, it purchased the product lines and related assets of InfiniBand from Qlogic and said it expected to hire "a significant number" of Qlogic employees.