Silicon Graphics Inc. chairman and founder James Clark said Thursday he’s leaving the pioneering computer company to start a new business designing software for interactive television.

Clark started Silicon Graphics in 1982, and built it into the leading producer of powerful work stations that create moving three-dimensional images.

Its cutting-edge graphics appear in Hollywood blockbusters like “Jurassic Park” and help real-life scientists bioengineer new drugs.

Clark will step down Feb. 28, the publicly traded company said in a statement from its Mountain View headquarters.

“I am leaving at this time because I believe there are major entrepreneurial opportunities in applications software for interactive television, and I want to explore those opportunities,” he said.

Clark said his new company would design software around Silicon Graphics systems.

Silicon Graphics last week reported second-quarter profits of $ 36 million, up 65% from a year ago. Net revenues for the quarter ending Dec. 31 were $ 370 million, up 37%. Profits for the first month of its fiscal year were $ 62 million on revenues of $ 672 million.

Silicon Graphics’ high-performance computers have made it a necessary tool for a wide variety of companies. Director Steven Spielberg used Silicon Graphics work stations to create computer-generated dinosaurs for “Jurassic Park.” Biotechnology firm Genentech uses S-G machines for research and production of pharmaceuticals.

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