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Rain or Shine, IBM Supercomputer to Power Official Weather Forecasts for Beijing

China taps IBM for meteorological expertise

Armonk, NY & Beijing - 16 Aug 2007: The Beijing Meteorological Bureau (BMB) announced today that it has acquired a new IBM (NYSE: IBM) supercomputer to aid in weather forecasting and air-quality control. The system is capable of sweeping an area up to 44,000 square kilometers to provide hourly numerical weather forecasts for each square kilometer.

The new computer, an IBM System p575, will provide ten times the computational power of the BMB’s current weather forecasting system. In addition to providing up-to-the-hour forecasts, the supercomputer will also be used to help predict air quality in Beijing. The system will be employed by BMB to improve the accuracy of forecasts in the regions surrounding Beijing. 

“The IBM supercomputer will allow for much more fine numerical weather forecasting for the Beijing area during the Olympics and afterwards,” said Liu Xulin, director of the Beijing Meteorological Information Center. “IBM brings many resources to help us improve forecasting, especially their world-class scientists and researchers, who combine meteorology with computer science.”

“IBM is very proud to be supporting the Beijing Meteorological Bureau,” said Fan Yu, Director of IBM’s Public Sector in China. “We look forward to working with the BMB in their ongoing efforts to improve the forecasting accuracy in the Beijing area.”

The 80-node IBM System p575 employs leading edge POWER5+ microprocessors, and can deliver peak performance of 9.8 teraflops -- or trillion operations per second. This initial configuration of the system would rank it among the ten fastest supercomputers in China, according to the Top 500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers.

Contact(s) information

Michael Corrado
IBM Media Relations
914-766-4635
mcorrado@us.ibm.com

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IBM technicians Duke Alexander, Kingston, NY, and Samantha Sillik, Port Ewen, NY, perform final test and inspections on an IBM System p575 supercomputer at IBM's Poughkeepsie manufacturing site. The p575 will be used by the Beijing Meteorological Bureau to provide official weather forecasts during the 2008 summer Olympics.

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