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IBM's supercomputing R&D for radioastronomy (pictures)

BIg Blue is working on technology to keep up with massive data production demands from the forthcoming SKA radio telescope. Here's a look at some of the technology it showed at CeBIT.

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Stephen Shankland
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1 of 5 Stephen Shankland/CNET
HANOVER, Germany -- The Square Kilometer Array (SKA) radio telescope that will be built from 2016 to 2024 in southern Africa and Australia is intended to peer at the Big Bang's radio remnants. Before that, IBM is working to develop the necessary computing technology through a five-year partnership with the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (Astron). At the CeBIT show here, the two groups are showing off some of the fruits of the cooperation, called Dome.

The SKA radiotelescope project could use phase-change memory chips such as this one for high-speed data storage.

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2 of 5 Stephen Shankland/CNET

IBM Microserver

IBM microservers use tiny circuit boards with ordinary Freescale processors that slot into a 3.5-inch-tall server. The white prototype below shows how a copper cooling system attaches to the circuit board.
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3 of 5 Stephen Shankland

Phased-array radiotelescope circuitry

A massive circuit board prototype from Astron show holds phased-array antennas for the Square Kilometer Array radio telescope project.
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4 of 5 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Phased-array radiotelescope

This circuit board is covered with antennas geared to listen to radio signals of a frequency between about 450MHz and 1.5GHz. The Square Kilometer Array project aims to cover a square kilometer across the southern hemisphere of Earth with such antennas.
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5 of 5 Stephen Shankland

IBM's Ronald Luijten

Ronald Luijten of IBM Research in Zurich speaking at CeBIT 2013.

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