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Desktops

Swedish institute goes Itanium

HP sells 90 dual-processor Itanium 2 machines to the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden's largest engineering school, for use in a wide variety of intense calculation tasks.

Hewlett-Packard has sold 90 dual-processor Itanium 2 machines to the Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden's largest engineering school, for use in a wide variety of intense calculation tasks.

The institute purchased 74 rx2600 dual-processor servers and 16 zx6000 dual-processor workstations, HP said Friday. They will be used at the ParallelDatorCentrum, a computing center funded chiefly by the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing, to tackle problems in areas ranging from life sciences to astrophysics. The institute did not release how much it paid for the machines, but calculations show that they would cost at least $1.3 million on the market.

The 90-computer cluster is expected to be running by this summer, but within a year, the institute expects to triple its computing capacity with additional HP computers. In addition, the cluster will be linked into Sweden's national "grid" for scientific computing, one of many networks of shared computers that collectively tackle even larger computing problems.

HP helped design Intel's Itanium processor family, a high-end product that first came out in 2001. Intel hopes Itanium will push aside IBM's Power processors and Sun Microsystems' UltraSparc processors.

Market researcher Gartner asserts that by the end of 2003, Itanium servers will be mature enough for databases--the data-storage task that's at the heart of business computing. Thus far, Itanium systems have been most widely used in clusters of smaller machines interlinked for high-performance technical computing jobs.

On Thursday, researchers at the U.S.-based National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure announced for its software, which is designed to make it less difficult to set up Linux-based supercomputer clusters.

In 2002, HP was the top seller in the . However, No. 2 IBM's share of that market grew while HP's share shrank.