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February 9, 2010

SiCortex Co-founder John Mucci Dies

Michael Feldman

Some very sad news. John Mucci, the co-founder of HPC cluster maker SiCortex, has passed away. According to Matt Reilly, who founded the company alongside Mucci and Jud Leonard, John died unexpectedly on Sunday of an apparent heart attack. Reilly told me his friend and colleague led “an interesting and powerful life.”

Mucci was the president and CEO of SiCortex from 2003 to 2008. The company swam against the tide of commodity x86 HPC machines, offering instead an ultra-low-power Linux cluster based on a MIPS SoC and a custom-built system interconnect. After a promising start, the company closed its doors in May 2009 due to lack of venture funding. Prior to SiCortex, Mucci was a vice president at Thinking Machines Corp. from 1986 to 1994.

“John was not one to let grass grow under his feet,” noted Reilly. After SiCortex dissolved, the two of them attempted to start a new company — ParaTeq Computer Systems. Apparently, they couldn’t get the money to move that venture forward, and shut down the effort in January.

We’ll post more information as it becomes available.

UPDATE: Jud Leonard sent me a testimonial to John Mucci that we’ve posted separately.