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Big Blue lands supercomputing rental deal

IBM has signed up a second pharmaceutical company, Locus Pharmaceuticals, to a program that has customers pay for supercomputing resources to augment their in-house systems. Locus will tap into a cluster of IBM's Linux servers with Intel processors at an "on demand" supercomputing center, IBM plans to announce Monday.

The on-demand program was first offered in January to oil and gas customers such as Petroleum Geo-Services. The idea is to let companies tap into IBM systems during times of peak demand so that they avoid having to pay for equipment that will lay idle during slower times. Electro-Optical Sciences was the first pharmaceutical company to sign up for the IBM service.