Sun Microsystems Powers World-Leading London Centre of Nanotechnology University College London and Imperial College London Use Sun Visualization

System Software to Further Nanotechnology Research



    SANTA CLARA, Calif., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sun
 Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq:   SUNW), the creator of the Solaris(TM) Operating
 System (OS), today announced that the newly opened London Centre of
 Nanotechnology (LCN - www.lcn.ucl.ac.uk) and the Bio-Nano Centre (BNC),
 funded by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) and London Development
 Agency (LDA), are using components of Sun Visualization System software to
 harness the world-class expertise of researchers across the physical,
 engineering and biomedical sciences, from University College London and
 Imperial College, to help meet the needs of society and industry. In
 essence, LCN and the BNC combine London's leading technology and medical
 research institutions.
     Sun has delivered innovative 3D visualization hardware and software
 solutions as part of an overall 30 million pound investment in world class
 bio- and non-bio facilities and over 200 multi-disciplinary staff. The Sun
 Visualization System combines the best aspects of high performance 3D
 graphics technology with new ultra high-speed networking and system
 architectures. In practice, these systems are used to predictively model
 the precise manipulation and control of atoms and molecules, which is
 central to the science of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology can deliver a wide
 variety of benefits to society, ranging from the design of minute doses of
 breakthrough drugs, real-time clinical diagnostics to the exotic, such as
 self assembling bio-structures.
     LCN's use of leading edge modelling and visualization technologies is
 enabling researchers from a wide array of scientific disciplines to work
 together on collaborative projects in a way that no traditional department
 or individual scientist could previously work. This combination of
 resources and skills positions the LCN as a serious participant on the
 global stage to tackle challenges in industries such as energy, healthcare
 and information technology.
     Gabriel Aeppli, Director of the LCN said, "There are tremendous needs
 and opportunities for in silico biotechnology, especially as the costs of
 in vivo and even in vitro development of solutions for bio medicine are
 rapidly escalating. At the same time, data, design and security are even
 more important as the stakes for the biomedical industry rise to meet the
 challenges of nothing less than global personalized medicine. To take
 advantage of these rapidly crystallizing opportunities in the UCL and
 Imperial complex, Sun has collaborated with the DTI to co-develop with UCL
 and Imperial the systems and software to underpin what we see as the merger
 of the information and biosciences. The first steps have already been taken
 in the form of the delivery of a beta version of an advanced visualization
 system that has already changed our thinking about the 'plumbing' of
 osteoclasts - responsible for degrading bone in the human body."
     "The cutting edge research that is taking place at the London Centre of
 Nanotechnology is helping to raise the profile of UK research on the
 international stage. Sun's involvement in facilitating collaboration
 between research institutions and industry demonstrates its commitment to
 delivering projects that allow educational institutions to undertake this
 ground-breaking research," said Neil Hadfield, Business Unit Manager for
 Education, Sun Microsystems UK.
     The Sun Scalable Visualization Software deployed at LCN represents the
 first time Sun N1(TM) software has been used, in conjunction with Chromium
 Open Source Software, to manage the vast quantities of data and compute
 power required to deliver interactive and graphically intensive results.
     The Sun Visualization System will significantly increase the computing
 power previously available to LCN, which will now be able to manipulate
 larger volumes of numerical and visual data, helping the researchers to
 interpret their findings more rapidly. In addition to the Sun Scalable
 Visualization Software, Sun also offers Sun Shared Visualization Software,
 which allows for local and remote users to interactively share centralized
 3D graphics resources across a wide array of client platforms.
     For LCN, powerful computer clusters, built using Sun Fire(TM) X4600
 servers and Sun Ultra(TM) 40 Workstations, combine to drive multiple
 displays which in turn deliver high-quality, high-resolution, stereographic
 3D displays with exceptional rendering performance for 2D, 3D and textured
 surfaces. The Sun N1 software automates servers and applications life-cycle
 management and manages grid services across heterogeneous environments to
 help ensure an even distribution of computing power across multiple users.
     About The London Centre of Nanotechnology and the Bio-Nano Centre
     LCN is a new UK-based multidisciplinary research centre, purpose-built
 to enable work at the forefront of science and technology. The LCN brings
 together two of the world's leading institutions, namely University College
 London (UCL) and Imperial College London, with strong capabilities in the
 underlying disciplines - engineering, physical sciences and biomedicine -
 which are bridged by nanotechnology. Its aim is to provide the nanoscience
 and nanotechnology needed to solve major problems in information
 processing, health care, and energy and environment. The LCN, together with
 Imperial's Institute for Biomedical Engineering and funding from the DTI
 and LDA, are creating the Bio-Nano Centre - offering concept development,
 rapid prototyping, and product validation services to translate research
 concepts to prototypes, ready for manufacture. The objective is to provide
 small to large companies with easy and economical access to prototyping
 facilities and multidisciplinary capabilities for the early-stages of
 bio-nano product development.
     About Sun Microsystems, Inc.
     A singular vision - "The Network Is The Computer(TM)" - guides Sun in
 the development of technologies that power the world's most important
 markets. Sun's philosophy of sharing innovation and building communities is
 at the forefront of the next wave of computing: the Participation Age. Sun
 can be found in more than 100 countries and on the Web at http://sun.com.
     Sun, Sun Microsystems, Solaris, N1, Sun Fire, Sun Ultra and The Network
 Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun
 Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
     FOR MORE INFORMATION:
 
     Rebekah Johnson
     Sun Microsystems, Inc.
     (650) 585-5473
     rebekah.johnson@sun.com
 
 

SOURCE Sun Microsystems, Inc.

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