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Official launch ASTRON & IBM Center for Exascale Technology

On Wednesday 17 October, the official kick off of the ´ASTRON & IBM Center for Exascale Technology’ in Drenthe takes place
First ‘green’ electronic circuits in production
Industry participates in Users Platform

Published by the editorial team, 15 October 2012

Wednesday 17 October, ASTRON and IBM (NYSE: IBM) will officially launch the ASTRON & IBM Center for Exascale Technology. In this center, located at ASTRON in Drenthe, scientists and engineers will carry out high quality research for the next generation extremely fast and energy efficient computer systems, with applications in the region and in the Netherlands. These computer systems will allow for reading, storing and analysing enormous amounts of information gathered by radio telescopes like the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA, the next generation radio telescope).

In April 2012, the collaboration between ASTRON and IBM was made public. In the past six months there have been many developments in the project, among which the kick off of the Users Platform.  In this centre, industry, small and medium sized businesses, universities and foreign governments can participate in the Center for Exascale Technology. This way they can contribute to the goals of the project and work together with IBM and ASTRON scientists.

First 'green' electronic circuits in production

Within ten months of the start of the project, the first electronic circuits for the micro-servers are in production. These are the first basic components with which large low-power systems can be build. The company DsignWorx from Hoogeveen has designed parts of the circuit and is producting the first series.

The researchers in the Center for Exascale Technology focus, among other things, on energy efficient computers, using advanced accelerators and 3D-stacked chips. Besides this research is being done for new optical connection techniques, ‘high performance’ storage systems and ‘nanophotonics’ (studying the behaviour of light on nanoscale) to optimalise the transfer of huge amounts of data. Since the start of the project, three scientific articles have been published and five presentations have been held about the project.

The collaboration between ASTRON and IBM in the Center for Exascale Technology takes place under the name DOME (named after the protecting cover of telescopes and the famous Swiss mountain) and is funded by the Ministry of Economics, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I) and the province of Drenthe. DOME focuses on the sector High Tech Systemen en Materialen (HTSM), one of the top sectors in the Netherlands.

Contact information:

ASTRON: Femke Boekhorst, PR & Communicatione.E-mail: or tel.: 0521 595 204 and 06 21 23 42 43.
IBM: Heleen Kamerman, External Relations Benelux. E-mail: or tel.: 020 513 6848 and 06 53 37 10 89.

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