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Cray Research Says FPS Computing Purchase Back on Track

November 15, 1991

BEAVERTON, Ore. (AP) _ Cray Research Inc. plans to complete its purchase of nearly defunct FPS Computing Inc. after backing out of the deal late last week, company officials say.

Frank Parisi, a Cray vice president and chief spokesman for the Minneapolis-area supercomputer maker, confirmed his company’s change of plans Thursday. But he would give not further details.

Milt Smith, chairman and co-founder of Beaverton, Ore.-based FPS, said details still were being worked out.

Last month, FPS filed debt reorganization papers under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy code. A few days later, a $3.25 million sale to Cray was announced.

Founded as Floating Point Systems Inc. in 1970, FPS once was one of Oregon’s fastest-growing high technology companies. Its first product came to be known as an array processor, which was used to build mini-supercomputers. Losses began to mount when FPS began a supercomputer project called the ″T Series,″ led by former chief executive officer Lloyd Turner. The project fizzled and Turner left the company in 1986.

At its peak in 1985, FPS employed 1,600. Earlier this week, it laid off about 140 of its remaining 200 U.S. employees.

Cray had planned to hire all but about a dozen of the employees until it backed out of the purchase deal last Friday, claiming it did not meet Cray’s long-term marketing goals.

Cray, founded in 1972 by supercomputing pioneer Seymour Cray, has 5,000 employees and makes large-capacity machines that make rapid numerical calculations.

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