IBM collaborates with Irish universities to solve complex business issues
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Researching Intelligent, Powerful Systems to Help Companies Use Data Strategically
IDA Ireland has announced that IBM is establishing an exascale stream computing research 'collaboratory' and the creation of 40 new jobs at IBM and local Universities supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.
The agreement will see IBM supercomputing and multidisciplinary experts work directly with University researchers from NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin Tyndall National Institute in Cork, UCC and IRCSET, the Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology to develop computing architectures and technologies that overcome current limitations of dealing with the massive volumes of real-time data and analysis.
The two NUI Galway research groups invited by IBM to collaborate in this R&D initiative are Applied Optics led by Professor Chris Dainty and Bio-Inspired Electronics and Reconfigurable Computing led by Dr Fearghal Morgan.
President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, said: "NUI Galway has a strong commitment to collaboration and partnership. The Applied Optics Group and the Bio-Inspired Electronics and Reconfigurable Computing Group (BIRC) are internationally recognised research and development groups working to build strategically important links with industry. The University welcomes this timely opportunity to partner with IBM in developing tomorrow s computing technology and we look forward to increasing our portfolio of innovative research and development partnerships in the future.
While high performance computing today primarily focuses on scientific applications in areas such as physics or medicine, the exascale research will focus on how these new powerful computing systems can be applied to solving complex business problems. The research will include both technical and applications research.
For example, the application research for exascale computing will study financial services using real-time, intelligent analysis of a company's valuation developed from business models using data from investor profiles, live market trading and RSS news feeds. The research will also focus on making sense of the volume of data from social networks to understand rapidly evolving and changing business trends and opportunities.
The technical research will explore innovative ways of using new memory architectures, interconnecting technologies and fabric structures, and will evaluate business applications that would benefit from an exascale streaming platform.
IBM believe that the expertise already developed within the partner research groups will help them achieve their goal of increasing computer performance by a factor of 1000 over the next 8 years. Research at NUI Galway will investigate electronic integrated circuits which incorporate high speed optical connectivity and whose architecture mimics that of the brain. This project will provide devices which can process the vast amounts of data which exist in medical, financial and scientific domains, in real time.
Commenting on the announcement, Michael Daly, Country General Manager IBM Ireland, said: "IBM's collaboratory strategy will be a vital part of how we will work to apply intelligence to improve the way the world works and solve our clients' toughest problems. A collaboratory is not a place, but it's an integration of teams who can achieve more by working together than working alone. The collaboration between Irish Universities and IBM will not only work on exascale stream computing, but will aim to apply sophisticated and unprecedented computing power to solve the seemingly insurmountable problems businesses are facing today such as inefficient supply chains, energy shortage, managing risk and more."
Speaking at today's announcement Minister Lenihan said: "Choosing Ireland as a preferred location for global research centres is significant for Ireland and is in line with IDA Ireland's strategy of developing high-value knowledge-based R&D projects with leading technology companies. Today's announcement strengthens the computational science capability of Ireland in line with the Government's Strategy for Science and Technology 2006-2013. It is a further endorsement of the excellent long-standing relationship between IBM and Irish universities."