Intel spins off federal subsidiary

Offshoot initially will concentrate on developing large-scale super computers, including ones that could have power 1,000 times that of today's fastest machines.

Intel spun off a new subsidiary Tuesday that will focus solely on building its federal business, according to a company press release.

The subsidiary's initial aim will be to develop and build large-scale supercomputers for the Energy Department and other agencies that do extremely complex computing work, the statement said.

That will include developing the still largely theoretical exascale computers that will have a computing power roughly 1,000 times that of today's fastest computers.

The Obama administration's 2012 budget request included about $127 million for exascale computing development inside the Energy Department. It's unclear how that request will fare in Congress during the ongoing negotiations to lower the federal deficit.

Intel Federal ultimately will move into other realms of federal computing, the statement said.

The subsidiary's president will be Dave Patterson, according to Intel. Patterson was formerly chief executive officer of Optelecom-NKF, a developer of surveillance systems, and before that the chief executive officer of Siemens' government division.

The subsidiary will begin operations with offices in Washington, Oregon and California, the company said.