NEC, SGI strengthen partnership in Japan

SGI Japan, the Japanese unit of Silicon Graphics, strengthened its partnership with NEC and one of its subsidiaries, NEC Soft Ltd., with the signing of an agreement Wednesday that calls for more cooperation and a future capital tie-up between the companies.

Under the terms of the deal, NEC and SGI will work together to expand sales of their high-performance, high-reliability computer systems, particularly into the fast-expanding broadband Internet infrastructure market, they said in a statement. NEC Soft will collaborate with SGI in the fields of genome research and biotechnology.

NEC and NEC Soft also agreed to take a financial stake in SGI Japan, which is planning to list its shares later this year, although the size of the stake has yet to be determined.

NEC and SGI Japan have worked together since August, 1998, when they agreed to sell each other's supercomputers and supercomputing products in Japan. As a result of the deal, NEC began to sell SGI's Origin 2000 scalar parallel supercomputers and SGI began to sell NEC's SX-5 supercomputers.

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