INFOTECH: Supercomputer in Cape Town
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IBM has donated a 14-teraflop Blue Gene/P system to the Meraka Institute which will be hosted by the Center for High Performance Computing (CHPC) in Cape Town, in an effort to spark scientific and socio-economic progress in the region.
The $2 million Blue Gene supercomputer -- able to make 14 trillion floating point calculations per second -- will be, by far, the most powerful supercomputer on the African continent. It will be available free of charge to any qualifying African institution for use on advanced scientific projects.
The donation was prompted by an extensive series of meetings on economic development opportunities in Africa recently convened by IBM as part of its annual Global Innovation Outlook (GIO) process. More than 150 global business, academic and government leaders agreed that building scientific and technical capability within Africa is one of the fundamental keys to growing its economy.
Unlike simple donations of cash or even laptop computers, access to advanced supercomputing capabilities immediately places the African scientific community on an even playing field with the rest of the world. With this Blue Gene, the CHPC can tackle large-scale, complex computing problems that are pertinent to the African people, including infectious disease treatments, management and prevention, climate modeling, alternative energy and fuel systems, and plant genomics.
IBM is primarily focused on initiatives that have significant scientific, environmental or socio-economic outcomes. The power of this Blue Gene will help further the objective of providing high-end computing and expertise for exploratory science, medicine, engineering and social sciences in Africa to make a real positive impact.
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