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IBM Press Release


UK Science extends to new fields of research with IBM supercomputer

UK National Academic Supercomputer doubles its capability again

Warrington, UK, 7th November, 2006. Today the third and final phase of HPCx, the UK National Academic Supercomputer, was formally accepted into service by the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

When originally commissioned by the UK Research Councils in 2002 it was immediately designated as one of the top 10 largest supercomputers in the world. In 2004, the capability of HPCx to run scientific applications was doubled, and it has now been doubled again, to in excess of 2500 processors.

HPCx is a tightly coupled high-performance computing system comprising IBM (NYSE:IBM) System p575 high-end compute servers, and is used by leading research groups in the UK to study a wide range of Computational Science and Engineering challenges.

Professor John O'Reilly, Chief Executive Officer for EPSRC, says that 'The International Review of Research Using High Performance Computing in the UK, published in December 2005, stated that the UK has a well thought-out investment strategy for HPC platforms. HPCx is one element of this strategy and can be justifiably proud of the excellent service it has provided to the academic community. The combination of world-class technology, facilities management and computational science and engineering support has enabled impressive advances by UK research groups. The doubling of its capability, using IBM technology which is more advanced than anticipated when the contract for the service was agreed in 2002, will help to enhance the UK's ability to carry out research dependent upon HPC.'

Professor Arthur Trew, Director of EPCC at the University of Edinburgh, says "We believe that the right way to use large machines like HPCx is for ground-breaking calculations and simulations that can't be effectively done on less capable systems. However, for this to work effectively we require the computer to be powerful, scaleable and reliable. Over the past four years, the IBM systems have proved to be all three and we are looking forward to the new opportunities enabled by the latest upgrade."

Professor Paul Durham, Director of the Computational Science and Engineering Department at the CCLRC Daresbury Laboratory says, "HPCx has been a partnership all down the line - between Edinburgh, Daresbury, IBM, EPSRC and the UK research community. Our joint vision for high end computational research has always been to couple the operation of the systems closely with the expertise needed to write, develop, tune and support the codes that scientists actually run, and to do this in collaboration with the scientists themselves.

HPCx has allowed UK researchers to examine scientific problems in ways previously unavailable. Specific examples of results that have been produced include:

About IBM

For more information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/servers/deepcomputing/.

About HPCx

Located at the Daresbury Laboratory in Warrington HPCx is managed by a consortium led by the University of Edinburgh, and including the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils and IBM.
For more information about HPCx, visit http://www.hpcx.ac.uk/
For more information about The University of Edinburgh and EPCC (the lead partner within the University consortium) visit: http://www.ed.ac.uk/ and http://www.epcc.ed.ac.uk/
For more information about Daresbury Laboratory and CCLRC, visit: http://www.cclrc.ac.uk/


The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. The EPSRC is investing 650 million this year in research and postgraduate training, to help the nation handle the next generation of technological change. This research forms the basis for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone's health, lifestyle and culture. The Research Councils work collectively on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK. For more information on EPSRC, visit http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/

Press Contact:

Vincent Smith
IBM Corporate Communications
+44 1962 815266
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