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Bull and the University of Düsseldorf join forces to design the high-performance computing systems of the future

This co-operation agreement was announced during the Dresden International Supercomputing Conference (ISC 2007), and covers the areas of visualization technologies, software components and HPC cluster technologies. The results of joint development will be gradually incorporated into Bull's product range

Cologne/Düsseldorf, June  26, 2007 -

The Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf and Bull Germany have announced a two-year co-operation agreement to coincide with the commissioning of Bull's supercomputer at the University's Institute of Information and Communication Technologies (ZIM).

The Bull Group has been contributing for several years now to high-performance computing projects internationally, particularly in Germany, in the public sector for research and education, and in the private sector. Bull has recently delivered two of the most powerful European supercomputers to the French Atomic Energy Authority, the CEA (Tera-10), and to the CCRT, the French Center for Research and Technology Computing.

Under the leadership of Professor Stephan Olbrich, the Institute of Research at the Heinrich Heine University, the ZIM Institute and the Chair of IT Management are predominantly involved in the following key areas, also the main areas for future co-operation:

  • Visualization technologies
    These technologies are concerned with developing algorithms, models and application concepts for analyzing series of complex data, for scientific and e-learning applications.
    This area includes simulations and visualization scenarios with highly interactive 3D virtual reality technologies.

  • Scientific computing
    The objective is to develop and test collaborative solutions including simulations and visualization. The research work particularly covers optimization (parallelization, ultra high-speed networks), resource management and information system security.

Three key projects in the areas of intensive visualization and high-performance computing technologies

For the two years the collaborative agreement is due to last, three key projects are being evaluated in the areas of intensive visualization technologies and HPC clusters:

Project 1: Design of administration tools for Bull's clusters and hybrid clusters

The aim of this project is to develop methods and tools for administering and optimizing HPC cluster solutions used by the university. The cluster architecture is hybrid (heterogeneous), and is built around a network of front-line, administration and computation servers, combining Intel® Itanium® 2 ('Montecito') and Intel® Xeon® ('Woodcrest') processors. The first such hybrid cluster to be installed in a German higher educational establishment, it features homogeneous management of different platforms integrating the two types of Intel® processor.

Project 2: Bull competence and demonstration center

This project aims to establish a competence and demonstration center to present shared developments and results, as well as for benchmark testing and customer demonstrations. The center will also be used to port applications to Intel® Itanium® 2 and Intel® Xeon® environments.

Project 3: Ultra powerful visualization solutions for scientific computing

This project aims to offer services in the area of graphics and visualization solutions. It will set out to analyze technological advances, particularly in intensive visualization (Scalable Graphics), and visualization of data and specific customer queries in graphical format, and making virtual reality and mobile components for 3D visualization available to research laboratories.

Anticipating the HPC systems of the future

"We have a particularly effective co-operative relationship with Bull's experts, enabling us to undertake projects that are scientifically enriching - both in terms of skills and products - for both our organizations, in the areas of cluster administration and intensive visualization," said Professor Stephan Olbrich.

"Development work in the domains of software components and HPC cluster environment technologies have been part of our core commitment for several years now, underlining the vital role that research plays at Bull," emphasized Michael Gerhards, Managing Director, Bull Germany.

Bull and the University of Düsseldorf will be holding a seminar at 6:00pm on 26 June on stand C06-C08 at the International Supercomputing Conference. More information on the partnership, as well as on high-performance computing products and services, will be available on the stand. The ISC is the world's second largest event devoted to HPC, and is due to take place in Dresden from 26-29 June this year.

For more information, please visit: www.bull.de and www.zim.uni-duesseldorf.de/server

About the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf.

Starting out its life as an academy of medicine, this higher educational establishment in Düsseldorf became a university dedicated to research in 1965. Today it encompasses faculties of law, medicine, philosophy, life sciences and economics. With activities in seven of the country's main fields of research, the University of Düsseldorf is one of the leading establishments in Germany. The University's strategic areas of research cover, in particular, molecular biology, cardiology, hepatology, biology, biotechnologies and, last but not least, plasma physics.

Close on 15,500 students will be attending the University of Heinrich Heine in 2007.

University of Heinrich Heine
Rolf Willhardt - Tel: +49(0)211/81-12022
Fax: +49(0)211/81-15279 - willhardt@verwaltung.uni-duesseldorf.de

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Aurélie Negro
+33 1 58 04 05 02