WASHINGTON---The decision by Cray Research Inc. to abandon development of its most advanced supercomputer project has dealt a blow to the U.S. supercomputer industry and may set back researchers in the 1990s, say some specialists in the field.

“I think the United States has lost one of its very serious efforts in supercomputing,” said Lawrence Lee, director of the Cornell National Supercomputer Facility in Ithaca, N.Y, who added that the step may have “serious repercussions” as the nation tries to maintain its lead in this area.

Cray announced September 2 that it had canceled its MP (for multiple processing) computer design project headed by Steve S. Chen, which was proving costlier and more complicated than expected. Cray said Chen would try to develop the supercomputer on his own.

That news is “a little worrying, not for scientists today but for scientists about five years from now,” said John Connolly, director...

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