Under the contract, IBM will also manage the integration and deliver maintenance services for ICM's supercomputer. As part of the agreement, the supercomputer will be used in scientific research carried out under a national programme called Calculation of the Great Challenges of Science and Technology or "POWIEW". The system will take on computationally intensive scientific problems described as "major challenges" in areas such as meteorology, cosmology, materials sciences and neuro-informatics.
For example, IBM's Blue Gene/P system will be used to model electrical potentials in the brain, allowing researchers to verify several years' worth of posed hypotheses about the dynamics of sensory information processing. It will also contribute to ICM's Virtual Science Library project, which makes available to all the academic centres in Poland a wide range of publications, doctoral dissertations, electronic information resources and scientific data.
The POWIEW project will also use ICM's supercomputer to support the development of new algorithms and computational methods for next generation supercomputer architectures that will be in use before 2020.
"Thanks to the enormous progress of computer technology, we can take on scientific challenges that were - not so long ago - far beyond the boundaries of imagination, such as understanding the nature of systems of extreme complexity, ranging from the atomic to the cosmological scale", stated Professor Marek Niezgodka, ICM's Director. "It all opens up exciting new opportunities and poses ambitious challenges for ICM teams and our colleagues. The ability to work with IBM - the world leader in technology in this field - inspires us, as does the creation of new solutions and the acquisition of new knowledge that the IBM supercomputer will enable."
"IBM's smarter systems are used in major worldwide research projects. ICM's selection of IBM supercomputing technology will enable the Center to significantly contribute to the development and success of Polish research projects", stated Krzysztof Bulaszewski, Sales Management Advisor, IBM Poland. "IBM is proud to co-operate with Polish scientific institutions."
The IBM Blue Gene/P is expected to facilitate a closer collaboration between ICM Polish scientists, IBM developers and the Forschungszentrum Juelich in Germany, which installed a Blue Gene/P in 2007 - one of the fastest in the world.
Blue Gene is one of the 100 Icons of Progress in IBM's 100 year history because it is a radical departure from the supercomputers of its time, consuming only a fraction of the energy and floor space. Blue Gene's speed and expandability have enabled industry and the scientific community to address a wide range of complex problems and make more informed decisions.
The POWIEW project realized under the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education patronage is co-funded by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund under the Innovative Economy Programme. It envisages establishment of research groups of scientists and High Performance Computing (HPC) systems developers.