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March 1, 2003

Unisys Corporation Donation

new supercomputers to aid university researchers

MINNEAPOLIS/ST.PAUL—The University of Minnesota's Digital Technology Center (DTC) has received a gift of two ES7000 supercomputing systems worth $2.4 million from Unisys Corporation. The DTC Supercomputing Institute and the DTC Laboratory for Computational Science and Engineering (LCSE) will use the systems. The donation has been made possible, in part, through the assistance of Intel Corporation and Microsoft Corporation, in partnership with Unisys.

University researchers will use the equipment in an array of high-performance computing applications in the areas of biological sciences, chemistry, fluid dynamics, genomics and geophysics. Both supercomputers are large 32-processor systems, one employing Intel 64-bit 1.0 GHz Itanium 2 instruction processors, and the other employing 2.0 GHz Xeon processors, using the Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter operating system and SQL Server 2000 database software.

"This gift will give us the opportunity to undertake interesting new projects, because the Unisys systems are significantly different from other supercomputers," said Andrew Odlyzko, director of the DTC and assistant vice president for research at the university. "They run on a Windows operating system and are ideal for projects involving large amounts of data and complex data structures. The DTC is committed to enhancing and expanding our partnership with Unisys. The ES7000 systems will make an excellent vehicle around which we can base that interaction." The partnership will produce valuable results for both Unisys and the DTC, Odlyzko said.

In LCSE, faculty will use the equipment in their research on visual representations of intensive scientific computations.

"We will use the equipment as the 'electronic brain' that connects networks of data to draw images of the phenomena we are studying," said professor Paul Woodward, LCSE director. "This might be pictures of giant stars, thunderstorms on earth, or the movement of river sediments. We will be able to visualize digitized data and manipulate it to look at it in different ways."

The Supercomputing Institute for Digital Simulation and Advanced Computation will use the ES7000 as the centerpiece of its Unisys Laboratory for large-scale data analysis.

"The goal of this laboratory is to encourage the experimental use of the Unisys resources for large problems that demonstrate the capabilities of the equipment and software," said professor Donald G. Truhlar, director of the Supercomputing Institute. "It will also promote large-scale applications that take advantage of the unique capabilities of the hardware, operating system, and software of the Unisys supercomputer."

Unisys is pleased to offer the tools that will allow for important and groundbreaking work, said Scott Vogel, vice president and general manager, Unisys North America Operations.

"What the University learns in the lab can show how businesses, and government too, can benefit from applying technologies that today are commonly defined as high-performance computing," Vogel said.

The Unisys donation is an excellent example of how private and public sectors can collaborate to maintain Minnesota's technology edge, according to Kate Rubin, president of the Minnesota High Tech Association.

"Studies show that when states emphasize education, including having a world-class research university, they perform better than their peers economically," Rubin said. "This gift continues to move Minnesota in that direction."

The DTC was established in 1998 as part of the university's initiative to help Minnesota reclaim a leadership role in the digital technology industry. It integrates research, education and outreach in the areas of digital design, computer graphics and visualization, telecommunications, data storage and retrieval, multimedia, data-mining and scientific computation, and other digital technologies.

The gift from Unisys counts toward Campaign Minnesota, the university-wide fund-raising campaign that ends on June 2003. Raising new funds for research is one of the campaign's main priorities.

Unisys is a registered trademark of Unisys Corporation in the United States and other countries.

Intel is a trademark or registered trademark of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.