Intel Commits $36 Million To Supercomputer R&D

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Intel announced during the Supercomputing 2003 conference here that it will spend $36 million over the next three years on R&D to fuel use of its Pentium and Itanium processors in high-performance systems.

The Advanced Computing Program will fund work on clusters and large multiprocessing systems using Intel's off-the-shelf processors. The initiative comes as the U.S. government is backing development work by Cray, IBM and Sun Microsystems on new supercomputer architectures.

Details of the Intel program are still scarce. But Rick Herrmann, a manager in Intel's new high performance computing office, said it will focus on a variety of systems and software projects including programming models for multithreaded CPUs, power and thermal packaging for small form-factor systems and interconnects such as Infiniband.

"We want to accelerate the use of volume technologies in high-performance computing," Hermann said.

Systems and software companies such as Hewlett-Packard and SGI are expected to join then Intel program as well as academic and government labs, Herrmann said.

Separately, Intel has created a new parallel and distributed solutions division. The unit brings together programming tools for clusters, grids and so-called constellations of large symmetric multiprocessing systems. The tools stem from a small handful of acquisitions Intel has made in the area.

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