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IBM awards technology to Stanford University for Computational Photonics project

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Zurich, Switzerland, 22 April 2003—IBM awards a powerful computer system to Stanford University in CA/USA to support its groundbreaking work in modeling photonic material structures in collaboration with IBM Research - Zurich.

University research on photonic crystal structures applied to novel components in optical communication, has boomed since it has become possible to create structures on the nanometer scale. Nanotechnology offers the potential for more efficient integrated optical circuitry at a lower cost - from passive elements like filters and equalizers to active functions such as optical switching, interconnects and even novel lasers. In addition, the technology can provide new functionality and reduce overall optical communication cost thanks to smaller devices, higher bandwidth and low loss device characteristics that eliminate the need for amplification. The ultimate goal is to create 3-dimensional photonic structures that may lead to increasingly optical and one day all-optical computing.

Computational methods that model the behavior of photonic material structures and devices are expected to greatly advance this technology. Computational photonics, like other complex simulation techniques, require deep computing capabilities. The computer system will be used by the Solid State and Photonics Lab, of Prof. Shanhui Fan, of the Electrical Engineering Department at Stanford to design novel photonic structures and develop new computational methods. The collaboration between Prof. Fan's group and IBM Zurich's photonics research team, which builds on a long and successful tradition in photonics research is expected to be mutually beneficial.

The award of the pSeries 650 server with 8 POWER4 processors at a market value of over US$ 150,000 has been made in the framework of IBM's Shared University Research (SUR) program, which awards computational capabilities to colleges, universities and institutions of higher education around the world to facilitate research projects in areas of mutual interest. These include Life Sciences, Grid Computing, Autonomic Computing and Deep Computing. The SUR awards also support the advancement of university projects by connecting top researchers in academia with IBM researchers, together with product developers and solution vendors. IBM awards approximately 540 SUR grants per year worldwide.

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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