IBM sets up research agencies

Tech March 19, 2013 00:00

By The Nation

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IBM is providing three research-oriented organisations, including the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre, with high performance computing capabilities.


“IBM is strongly committed to developing innovative solutions that provide a competitive edge in the new era of computing for customers worldwide. IBM Thailand is working to deliver HPC technology and expertise for supporting Thailand’s R&D efforts and enhancing the country’s potential and capabilities in R&D areas,” Parnsiree Amatayakul, managing director of IBM Thailand, said last week.
Nectec, as well as the other two organisations – the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre (ADPC) and the Chemistry Department at Chulalongkorn University – will use the systems to perform advanced research, complex calculations and sophisticated simulations. 
IBM will support research and development efforts by providing access to the solutions for government agencies, businesses and researchers to help increase the country’s research depth and capabilities as well as develop talent in the country.
The three institutions will collaborate on projects that will help deliver insights into national priority areas such as climate change and weather prediction, diseases such as HIV, bird flu and cancer, as well as particle physics. 
“Our HPC solutions will enable the wider development of Thailand’s research capability in line with its national priorities. IBM is supporting these implementations by providing expertise in deep computing from around the world. IBM has also established a network among Thai researchers, enabling them to collaborate, share resources and access training in innovative technologies,” he said.
ADPC, which monitors the effects of climate change in Asean, is using a IBM Power 775 solution to fine-tune its weather prediction and disaster forecasting abilities, with the aim of managing risk and providing advance information on weather changes to the 23 countries it serves. “Advanced technology tools for sophisticated modelling allow us to provide accurate weather forecasts and suggest efficient measures to overcome disasters in the countries we cover,” said Pichit Rattakul, senior adviser of ADPC.
Asst Prof Vudhichai Parasuk, head of the chemistry department, said scientists can use a IBM HPC solution to conduct in-depth studies on HIV, influenza and the bird-flu virus. The department is also extending its scope of coverage to new diseases such as cancer. 
“We are also studying cancer cells, where the HPC solution is able to help with three major capabilities – high-performance for floating point operations, high-capacity hard disks and very large system memory. HPC systems help accelerate our job, as time is the most important factor for scientific R&D projects and we anticipate this will bring direct benefits to our society,” he said.
At Nectec, IBM has deployed iDataPlex dx360 servers and DS3000 storage systems to enable deep research into energetic particle physics to facilitate insights into climate change, water resources, energy and environmental management, computational science and engineering.
Sornthep Vannarat, acting director of the large scale simulation research laboratory at NSTDA, said IBM systems are helping researchers to become more successful with R&D projects that have tangible benefits such as high-resolution weather modelling that deliver more accurate insights for improved agricultural policymaking and planning and more effective water allocation.