Linux Magazine’s Top 20 Companies to Watch in 2007

We pick the companies that are defining the future of Information Technology and will have the most impact on the Open Enterprises of 2007. It's the inaugural edition of our 20 Companies to Watch list and we guarantee that every company here will challenge how you think about Linux and Open Source before the year is out.

The Portland Group

The Portland Group, known better by its nickname PGI, has built its reputation on providing standout compilers and tools for parallel computing for the high performance technical computing (HPC) market. Although plenty of other companies offer compilers, PGI is distinctive because its compilers don’t rely on external pre-processors, and boast of only one compiler for multiple processors.

Why does that matter, and more importantly, why would that make a small West coast company into one to watch? Just take a look at the slowly morphing supercomputing arena for the answer. The HPC field traditionally uses high-end scalar and parallel systems to accelerate tasks that would overtax standard computing resources, and in the past has been an industry primarily composed of expensive, specialized mainframe systems and UNIX workstation vendors. But convergence is changing everything, bringing together workstations as well as server and cluster architectures around 32-bit and 64-bit x86 processor-based systems. Users are no longer just the researchers in white lab coats that need to compile rocket science code on their supercomputers. Instead, more and more enterprises have realized that parallel systems, multiple processors, and high-performance platforms can run complex applications and other programs with more efficiency and speed.

As that trend grows even stronger in the next year, look for PGI to be the compiler of choice. The company’s Cluster Development Kit, geared toward Linux clusters, promises to get hardware installed and a network up and running in just a few steps, making anyone into a Linux cluster genius.

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