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IBM Expands Supercomputing Facilities

IBM has opened a supercomputing center in France and expanded one in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

The new "deep-computing" center in Montpellier, France, which opened Wednesday, is IBM's second at which companies can rent time on high-performance systems owned and operated by IBM, tapping their computing power over the Internet.

The French center will serve customers in industries such as oil exploration, life sciences, computer graphics, and banking, according to IBM. Mentor Graphics Corp., a maker of software for designing semiconductors and electronics, will be one of the center's first customers. IBM says it has more than 20 customers for the two deep-computing centers.

IBM also said it recently expanded its Poughkeepsie center by adding computers. This summer, IBM plans to bring online there its experimental supercomputer called Blue Gene for customers to test, Dave Turek, IBM's VP of deep computing, said in a recent interview.

This week, the Department of Energy said IBM will deliver a Blue Gene system to Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois as part of a $50 million project to develop the world's fastest civilian supercomputer. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Astron, a Dutch astronomy research organization, are also testing Blue Gene machines.