At a ceremony at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology in Cambridge, Intel presented a unique birthday gift to Professor Stephen Hawking. The gift featured the message “Happy Birthday Stephen Hawking” inscribed hundreds of times on a one of a kind 300 mm silicon wafer typically used for mass production of Intel chips. The messages were “printed” using Intel’s 32 nm manufacturing technology. Nano-scale copper lines, typically used to produce high-performance, low-power chips, such as the ones in the latest smartphones with Intel Inside, were used to create the messages. Each letter is 10 microns wide, which is approximately 10 times smaller than the width of a human hair.
“This is a very special gift for an extraordinary scientist and an extraordinary man,” said Professor Martin Curley, Intel Vice President and Director of Intel Labs Europe, as he presented the award. “Professor Hawking’s ground-breaking scientific contributions and his remarkable resilience are an inspiration to us all.”
Professor Stephen Hawking is Director of Research and Founder of The Centre for Theoretical Cosmology. The Centre’s new supercomputer COSMOS Mk IX, part of the UK DiRAC Facility and built using Intel technology, aims to solve some of the most complex mathematical challenges facing researchers in cosmological research. It will be used to examine the origins of our universe, to analyze cosmic microwave background data from the Planck satellite, and to study the complexities of the origins of our universe with lattice field theory simulations of non-linear phenomena during the first fractions of a second.
The supercomputer will contribute to answering key questions such as: What happened in the first moments after the Big Bang? What were the primordial seeds that lead to the formation of galaxies, stars, planets and, ultimately people?
COSMOS Mk IX deploys 1,856 Intel Xeon E5 processors cores, aided by 31 Intel Xeon Phi Coprocessors, which together generate a peak theoretical performance of approximately 75 TFLOPS (Tera Floating-point Operations Per Second).
“We have a long standing relationship with Professor Hawking,” said Justin Rattner, Intel Chief Technology Officer and Managing Director of Intel Labs. “We are very pleased to continue to support the work of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology and to work closely with Professor Hawking on improving his personal communication system.”
The silicon wafer was presented to Professor Hawking as a follow-up to the State of the Universe symposium, held to celebrate his 70th birthday and contributions to fundamental physics and cosmology. The event was streamed live by Intel on the Internet.
Intel also announced its sponsorship for the COSMO 2013 International Conference on Particle Physics and Cosmology, to be held in Cambridge on September 2-6, 2013. A series of high-profile speakers are scheduled to attend, and Professor Hawking, Professor Brian Cox and Professor David Spergel will give public lectures at the event.
About Intel Labs Europe
Intel R&D/Innovation in Europe is driven by a network of research labs, product development labs and innovation labs spanning the region, as well as a variety of Intel business units. Intel Labs Europe was formally established in early 2009 as the central means of coordinating activities across this diverse and extensive network, and to strengthen and improve Intel’s alignment with European R&D. Today, Intel’s European research and development network, Intel Labs Europe, consists of more than 40 labs employing more than 4000 R&D professionals.
About the Stephen Hawking Centre for Theoretical Cosmology (CTC)
The CTC was founded by Stephen Hawking in 2007 to advance our mathematical understanding of the Universe. It is part of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics within the University of Cambridge. The CTC website can be found at www.ctc.cam.ac.uk.
You can learn more about the COSMOS@DiRAC supercomputer at www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/cosmos. The DiRAC Facility is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the Department of Business Innovation and Skills through its Large Facilities Capital Fund.