NY welcomes supercomputing center for nanoscale R&D

May 11, 2006 – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, IBM, and the state of New York have formed a $100 million partnership to create a supercomputing center that will focus on reducing the time and costs associated with designing and manufacturing nanoscale materials, devices, and systems.

The Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations (CCNI), based on the Rensselaer campus and at its Rensselaer Technology Park in Troy, NY, will research advances in shrinking device dimensions in electronics devices, and explore the benefits of nanotechnology in a wide array of industries. The participants claim it will be the world’s most powerful university-based supercomputing center, and among the world’s top 10 supercomputing centers.

Cadence Design Systems will collaborate with IBM and Rensselaer for simulation and modeling of nanoelectronic devices and circuitry, which will complement joint R&D work between IBM and AMD in East Fishkill and Albany developing silicon-on-insulator (SOI) semiconductor devices and manufacturing processes.

The CCNI, expected to be operational by the end of this year, will incorporate massively parallel IBM “Blue Gene” supercomputers, POWER-based Linux clusters, and AMD Opteron processor-based clusters, providing more than 70 teraflops of computing muscle. The center also will be used for a wide array of faculty and student research projects at Rensselaer, such as in biocomputation.

The ultimate goal of CCNI will be “finding innovative solutions to the challenges facing the continued productivity growth of the semiconductor industry and enabling key nanotechnology innovations in the fields of energy, biotechnology, arts, and medicine,” stated Rensselaer president Shirley Ann Jackson.

“The CCNI will bring together university and industry researchers under one roof to conduct a broad range of computational simulations, from the interactions between atoms and molecules up to the behavior of the complete device,” stated Omkaram (Om) Nalamasu, VP for research at Rensselaer. “This will help enable the semiconductor industry to bridge the gaps between fundamental device science, design, and manufacturing at the nanoscale.”

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