SGI, Northrop join forces

Northrop Grumman and Silicon Graphics Inc. have teamed up to provide systems that will synthesize data and present it in graphical form to decision-makers at the Pentagon, in the intelligence community and at the Homeland Security Department.

SGI officials are contributing visualization technology, and the systems engineering and integration work will be done at Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Concepts Demonstration lab, part of the company’s Mission Systems business unit. Together, the companies' technology professionals will create systems that gather data from various sources, combine it and present it visually.

For now, the two companies are exploring their capabilities and are not performing work under a specific contract, said Dwight Yamada, director of the Northrop Grumman lab.

"We're pursuing technologies and trying to establish relationships with our customers in those agencies," he said. "It's not targeted to any specific opportunities."

Anthony Robbins, president of SGI's federal division, said Northrop Grumman is contributing insight into the market, while SGI officials understand the technology in detail.

"I think Northrop Grumman has an immense amount of knowledge about the mission and the problems that their customer base faces," he said. "I think Northrop Grumman knows that far better than Silicon Graphics does. They have a lot of what I call customer intimacy. They understand what their customers face."

Officials at the two companies don’t know the potential of their partnership, but Robbins said it is likely to be greater than what at first seems apparent.

"It'll grow with the experience and the relationship the two companies develop," he said.

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