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Feb 28, 2008
University of Central Lancashire Achieves Nanotechnology Breakthrough Using SGI Supercomputer
SGI Altix Used to Simulate Materials Made of Macromolecules
READING, UK — The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has achieved a significant breakthrough in nanotechnology using a supercomputer from SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) to simulate materials made of ‘macromolecules’. An SGI® Altix® system installed in July allows UCLan’s scientists to model optimum combinations of nanotechnology materials, dramatically reducing development time and lab costs.
The UCLan work has major implications for nanotechnology, which is one of the 21st century’s fastest growing fields. Commenting on the work, Dr. Andrei Zvelindovsky, Reader in Computational and Theoretical Physics who heads the UCLan team, says: “Scientists will now be able to develop miniature designs – a type of ‘molecular Lego’ – using the SGI supercomputer, significantly reducing the time they have to spend in the lab. This will not only reduce costs but also allow nanotechnology materials to be developed much more quickly, which is a key requirement for commercial applications.”
A major advantage of the SGI Altix over its competitors is that computational power can continue to be increased through the addition of more processors. Dr. Zvelindovsky highlights this as an important factor in the decision to use SGI. He continues: “It is very important for us to be able to increase power as and when we need to and the SGI computer allows us to do this very efficiently and cost-effectively.”
The UCLan SGI Altix currently consists of 56 high-powered processors and more are planned. The UCLan team is using its own application code, which is currently being developed by scientists in Japan and Spain. The advantage of SGI Altix is it has the best architecture to achieve the best performance of the code.
Other members of the UCLan team include Dr. Xiaohu Guo and PhD student Marco Pinna. Their work has gained international recognition and led to the award of a prestigious HPC-Europa Transnational Access grant.
Commenting on the importance of nanotechnology, Michael Brown, director of sciences markets at SGI, concludes: “It is tremendous for SGI to be at the heart of this work, which has truly life-changing implications. Nanotechnology is increasingly important in everything from clothing to aircraft, and has tremendous potential in medicine where research is underway to develop nanostructures that can deliver highly targeted medicines to specific cells in the body. SGI is excited to be at the core of UCLan’s work, which we expect will have truly life-changing implications.”
SGI : Innovation for Results™
SGI (NASDAQ: SGIC) is a leader in high-performance computing. SGI delivers a broad range of high-performance server, visualization and storage solutions along with industry-leading professional services and support that enable its customers to overcome the challenges of complex data-intensive workflows and accelerate breakthrough discoveries, innovation and information transformation. SGI helps customers solve significant challenges, whether it’s enhancing the quality of life through drug research, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate change, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and can be found on the Web at sgi.com.
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