IBM has landed $53.3m (£32.6m) in funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) for the second phase of the agency's supercomputing plans.
As part of the deal for Darpa's High Productivity Computing Systems (HPCS) initiative, Big Blue is to conduct research over the next 36 months in areas including revolutionary chip technology, new computer architecture, operating systems, and compiler and programming environments.
IBM's research proposal, named Percs (Productive, Easy-to-use, Reliable Computing System), will allow the firm to work on a highly adaptable system that configures its hardware and software components to match application demands.
Ultimately, the aim is to produce a system that automatically analyses workload and dynamically responds to changes in application demands by configuring its components to match application needs.
Percs is based on an integrated software-hardware co-design that will enable multi-petaflop sustained performance by 2010, the company said.
IBM is one of three companies, along with Cray and Sun, that received the Darpa HPCS grant for Phase II. The HPCS Phase I industry teams also included Hewlett Packard and Silicon Graphics.
In the second phase of the programme, IBM will collaborate with a consortium of 12 universities and the Los Alamos National Laboratory to pursue the vision of a commercially viable adaptable computing system.
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