|The Leading Source for Global News and Information Covering the Ecosystem of High Productivity Computing / January 7, 2008|
Enabling ECMWF to further improve its global numerical weather prediction models and to contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change.
LONDON, Jan. 7 -- IBM and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF, the Centre), a UK-based international organisation supported by 30 countries, today announced that they had signed a contract to replace the High Performance Computing Facility (HPCF) at the Centre from 2009 onwards.
IBM will provide two POWER6 clusters during 2008 each with a potential peak performance of about 145 TFlops (10^12 floating point operations per second). These clusters would currently be placed in the top 10 computers in terms of performance in the world. In 2011 IBM will replace these clusters with future POWER systems.
"The new computer system will help ECMWF to further improve its global numerical weather prediction models, in particular by increasing the resolution of the forecast system and by making the best use of satellite data, which will enable us to provide useful information for early warnings of severe weather events." commented Isabella Weger, Head of Computing Division, ECMWF.
Severe weather is predicted to become more frequent and more intense in some parts of the world under climate change. ECMWF will contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change by providing early warnings of severe weather. This is seen as a key contribution to help society adapt to the dangers and threats associated with global warming. The increased time gained by such warnings will be crucial to save lives, enabling people to be evacuated from endangered areas (for instance, in the event of storm surges in the North Sea, such as in November 2007), or to take precautionary action to avoid major threats to goods during severe storms, such as 'Kyrill' in January 2007 that affected mainly Western and Central Europe.
"In 2008 IBM will provide ECMWF with new IBM POWER6 supercomputer systems that are five times more powerful than the currently installed supercomputers. This will help ECMWF to make significant improvements in medium-term weather forecasts through higher resolution models of weather systems and the capability to process massive amounts of data. By 2011 ECMWF will receive a further doubling of performance and will be one of the first organisations worldwide to use IBM's planned future High Performance Computing technologies." added Caroline Isaac, Deep Computing Business Unit Executive, IBM United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa.
The hardware was financed by IBM Global Financing. IBM Global Financing is one of the world's leading providers of multi-vendor IT financing, whose capabilities go beyond financing hardware, software and services. IBM Global Financing can make IT infrastructure more affordable, more manageable and more flexible.
The agreement was signed in December 2007.
For more information about IBM go to www.ibm.com.
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent international organisation supported by 18 European Member States and 10 Co-operating States. At its headquarters situated in Reading, England, a supercomputer complex is linked by high-speed telecommunication lines to the computer systems of the national weather services of its supporting States. The Centre's computer system contains the world's largest archive of numerical weather prediction data, and runs the world's most sophisticated medium-range prediction model of the global atmosphere and oceans.
Established in 1975, ECMWF is renowned worldwide as providing the most accurate medium-range global weather forecasts to ten days and seasonal forecasts to six months. Its products are provided to the European National Weather Services, as a complement to the national short-range and climatological activities."
For more information about ECMWF go to http://www.ecmwf.int/.