SGI, Silicon Graphics International Corp., was originally founded as Silicon Graphics Inc. in the early 1980’s by Jim Clark, a former Stanford University Professor, and a group of his Stanford graduate students.
Clark was initially focused on developing a powerful semiconductor chip (called the Geometry Engine) that would allow small computers to produce sophisticated three-dimensional graphics.
The idea was revolutionary because before this, graphics simulations were often (if not only) done on large mainframe computers.
Hollywood entertainment companies like Lucasfilm and Dreamworks SKG, music video producers and even Disney used SGI products to bring their artistic visions to life.
Because of SGI’s innovation it was possible to create the T-1000 villain in Terminator 2, the morphing towards the end of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” video, the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, and even animate Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
The 90’s weren’t just a time of creating quality entertainment for all ages. It was also a time of change within the company and developing new insights.
Graphics and simulation software weren’t the only products the company produced. In the late 90’s, SGI’s Chief Scientist at the time, John R. Mashey coined the term “Big Data.”
As a result of this new phenomenon, SGI already had a head start in further developing its workstations, supercomputers and solutions to meet today’s extreme data growth.