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Supercomputer giant Cray has announced it’s selling a hardware program and related intellectual property to Intel — and in the process, up to 74 Cray employees will join Intel and Cray will receive $140 million.

Cray says that a definitive agreement has been reached to sell its interconnect hardware development program, technology which directs supercomputer traffic between sets of processors and associated sets of memory.  The company will continue to develop, sell and support its current products and what it calls its next generation supercomputer, code-named “Cascade.” It also will retain certain rights to use the transferred assets and IP in Cray products.

Cray’s announcement notes the definitive agreement is “expected to close relatively quickly, but in any event before the end of the current quarter, subject to customary closing conditions.”  At closing, Cray will receive the $140 million in cash.

At the end of last year, Cray Inc. had 860 employees, so the up-to-74 staffers represent just under nine percent of Cray’s workforce.

News of the sale comes just days after Seattle-based Cray said that William Blake, the former general manager of parallel computing platforms at Microsoft, had been named senior vice president and chief technology officer. Cray will announce its first quarter 2012 financial results on Thursday.

Previously: Supercomputer maker Cray expects revenue to top $400M

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