Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

IBM, MGU Team Up on Nanotech

IBM and Moscow State University agreed on Friday to conduct joint research into nanotechnology using a sophisticated supercomputer the university purchased in January.

Under the agreement, IBM and university researchers will use the IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer, which can perform 27.8 trillion operations per second, to understand the behavior of nano-molecular switches.

"Nano-molecular switches could one day form a viable alternative to today's transistors," said Kirill Kornilyev, general director of IBM Eastern Europe and Asia.

"Due to their 'nano' size, nano-molecular switches could allow for new generations of compact and powerful computing devices."

Developing nanotechnology has been heralded by both President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as a key to diversifying the country's resource-based economy. Last month, former UES chief Anatoly Chubais was appointed to head the State Nanotechnology Corporation.

Matthias Kaiserswerth, director of IBM's Zurich Research Laboratory, praised the agreement, saying it would "advance computational science to a truly new level."

Moscow State University, or MGU, paid about $5 million for the supercomputer in January, making Russia the first East European country to obtain such a machine.

Kaiserswerth said getting permission for the high-tech transfer was possible only after MGU signed an agreement that it would not be used for purposes other than scientific research.

Blue Gene/P supercomputers are used to simulate and model complex systems and run various scenarios that are impossible on run-of-the-mill systems.