Worcester Polytechnic Institute Takes Delivery of IBM Supercomputer

RS/6000 SP and Deep Computing Technology to Assist in University Research

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WORCESTER, Mass - 17 Nov 1999: . . . Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has taken delivery of an IBM RS/6000 SP system that will help researchers tackle complex computational problems as diverse as determining the cause of accidental fires and explosions, understanding why plaque causes human arteries to collapse and designing better highway traffic barriers.

This new RS/6000 SP system, based on the same supercomputer technology that beat world chess champion Garry Kasparov, will greatly increase WPI's computing power and strengthen its leadership in global technological education.

Through its Shared University Research Program, IBM donated nearly $1.1 million in hardware and software to WPI. In addition, United Technologies and the National Science Foundation provided funds, along with some cost sharing by WPI. The total grant came to $1.34 million.

The RS/6000 SP system, running AIX, IBM's UNIX operating system, will be used primarily in mathematical sciences, but also by other departments, said Homer Walker, professor and head of the WPI Department of Mathematical Sciences.

"This will be the first major supercomputer on campus, a milestone development for our department and for WPI," Walker said. "The total hardware acquisition will amount to an RS/6000 SP with 16 POWER3 nodes (32 processors), a control workstation and two high-performance, dual-processor, graphics workstations. A significant software grant will enable us to use the parallel machine effectively."

Users of the supercomputer will include faculty as well as graduate and undergraduate students in mathematical sciences and other departments.

"Ultimately, I see the whole campus using it for many demanding computational tasks," Walker said. "It will enable us to do cutting-edge research in computational modeling."

"The selection of an RS/6000 SP gives WPI access to the world's premier platform for high-performance computing," said Mike Henesey, director of worldwide sales and marketing, IBM RS/6000 Scientific and Technical Computing. "Today there are more RS/6000 SPs on the list of the 500 most powerful supercomputers than any system from any other vendor."

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About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

WPI, founded in 1865, is renowned for its project-based curriculum. Under the WPI Plan, students integrate classroom studies with research projects conducted on campus and around the world. For more information on WPI, please visit its Web site at www.wpi.edu.

About IBM RS/6000

More than 850,000 IBM RS/6000 systems have been shipped to more than 125,000 commercial and technical customers around the world. The RS/6000 family of computers feature IBM RISC-based microprocessors and run AIX, IBM's UNIX(c) operating system. RS/6000 products range in size and capacity from workstations, workgroup and enterprise servers, to the RS/6000 SP supercomputer. From businesses deploying advanced technologies to become more efficient and profitable, to governments and universities seeking to solve the grand challenge problems of our time, RS/6000 computers support a wide range of applications and provide the reliability, availability and price/performance that today's information technology managers demand. More information on the RS/6000 SP is available at: http://www.rs6000.ibm.com/hardware/largescale/index.html

According to the TOP500 List of Supercomputers, the IBM RS/6000 SP is now the world's most popular supercomputer with 141 systems on the current list.The "TOP500 Supercomputing Sites" list is compiled and published by supercomputing experts Jack Dongarra from the University of Tennessee and Erich Strohmaier and Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim (Germany). The entire list can be viewed at www.top500.org.

IBM, AIX, SP and RS/6000 are registered trademarks or trademarks of IBM. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and/or other countries licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Limited. Other company, products and service names, which may be denoted by a double asterisk (**) may be trademarks or service marks of others.