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North Carolina Supercomputer Center to Receive IBM RS/6000 SP Capable of One Trillion Calculations Per Second

Researchers at Area Universities to Benefit from Deep Blue Technology

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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C - 19 May 1999: . . . The North Carolina Supercomputer Center (NCSC) today announced that it has selected IBM to install a supercomputer that is capable of teraflops performance -- one trillion calculations per second.

North Carolina takes pride in the outstanding academic reputation which its computational science community has established both nationally and internationally. The RS/6000 SP supercomputer will help researchers further advance NCSC's users as leaders in problems ranging from solving the mystery behind Alzhemier's Disease, to determining the origin of life-threatening arrhythmias and designing more effective therapies, to analyzing the atomic structure of certain materials to determine how they can be improved or altered, leading to the discovery of new materials.

"This agreement with IBM will strengthen NCSC's ability to support North Carolina's higher education community. The great strides in advanced research and education made possible by access to supercomputing have generated tremendous benefits for the people of North Carolina. The acquisition of this cutting-edge equipment offers the potential for even greater opportunities," said UNC President Molly Broad.

Researchers at universities throughout North Carolina (lists follows) will have access to the $20 million system, an upgraded and much larger version of the RS/6000 SP called Deep Blue, made famous by its historic 1997 victory over chess grand master Garry Kasparov.

"NCSC is committed to being the leading facility for computational science in the Southeast and in providing HPC applications for academic research and education," said Bill Kress, President of MCNC.

Delivery of the system, an IBM RS/6000 SP running IBM's AIX operating system, is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 1999. Initially, the system will consist of 320 POWER3 microprocessors connected over a dedicated high-speed switch, 1.45 terabytes of storage, and peak performance of a quarter teraflop. When completed in late 2000 the system will achieve teraflop performance with 640 POWER3-II processors and connected with new high-speed switch technology. This new switch will increase interconnect bandwidth from 140 megabytes per second to two gigabytes per second between nodes.

"IBM believes that NCSC's choice of an RS/6000 SP reaffirms our growing supercomputing industry leadership position," said Rod Adkins, general manager, IBM RS/6000. "In today's economic climate, skills in high-performance computing aren't a luxury, but a necessity. Students and faculty now have access to the latest IBM technology to solve real world, 'Deep Computing' problems."

The North Carolina Supercomputing Center is a division of MCNC, a nonprofit organization that maintains advanced equipment and expertise in electronic and information technologies to provide a competitive advantage to its business, government and education partners.

More information on NCSC is available at: http://www.NCSC.org. IBM RS/6000 information can be found at: http://www.ibm.com/servers.

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Universities that access the NCSC include:

Appalachian State University, Duke University , East Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University , North Carolina A & T State University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina School of the Arts, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina - Asheville, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill , University of North Carolina - Charlotte, University of North Carolina - Greenboro, University of North Carolina - Pembroke , University of North Carolina - Wilmington , Wake Forest University, Western Carolina University, Winston-Salem State University, and colleges and universities that are a part of the NC Community College.