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IBM News

From Deep Blue to Deep Space

IBM RS/6000 Technology Explores New Worlds; Takes on Great
Challenges at Home

Somers, New York, July 7, 1997 -- The same IBM RS/6000
technology that took on Chess Grand Master Garry Kasparov has
delivered NASA's Pathfinder to a safe landing on Mars. From Deep
Blue to deep space, IBM technology is exploring new worlds, will
be powering the world's fastest supercomputer in the future, and
is serving as host for the most popular Web sites of our time.

The flight computer aboard the Pathfinder, the RAD 6000, is
based on a version of IBM's RS/6000 technology. The RAD 6000 is
the most powerful on-board flight computer ever used by the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory and the first commercially based processor
to travel into deep space. The computer, supplied by Lockheed
Martin Federal Systems in Manassas, Virginia, contains a
radiation-hardened single chip implementation of the RS/6000

The RAD 6000 was responsible for over 100 pyro (explosive)
events that allowed the Pathfinder to land safely on Mars,
including deploying the parachutes, inflating the airbags, and
firing the retro rockets. In the coming month, the flight
computer will continue to control such important activities as
establishing and maintaining communications with Earth, Mars and
the Sojourner rover, managing both the lander camera that will
bring back images of the Martian landscape, and directing the
lander's meteorological station used to study the makeup of the
Martian atmosphere.

NASA developed the Pathfinder in less than three years at a cost
of approximately $170 million, or less than the price of some
major motion pictures. This budget signals NASA's commitment to
doing more with less in an age of fiscal restraint. Economies
were achieved by using commercially available hardware, like the
RS/6000, which allowed NASA to more quickly begin developing
specialized software for the mission.

RS/6000 background

The selection for the Pathfinder mission is a tribute to the
performance and reliability of RS/6000 technology. More than
600,000 RS/6000 systems are in use by over 100,000 commercial
and technical customers around the world. The RS/6000 is IBM's
family of computers that feature the Reduced Instruction Set
Computing (RISC)-based PowerPC* chip and AIX*, IBM's
UNIX**-based operating system. IBM's RS/6000 products range in
size and capability from laptops, workstations, workgroup and
enterprise servers, to the RS/6000 SP*, the flagship
"supercomputer" that challenged Kasparov.

From businesses working to become more efficient and profitable,
to governments and universities seeking to solve the greatest
challenges of our time, the RS/6000 supports a wide range of
applications and provides the reliability, availability, and
price/performance that today's information technology managers

Among the many high-profile applications of RS/6000 technology:

*    The Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore Laboratory
     selected IBM to build what will be the world's fastest
     supercomputer, an RS/6000 SP. When complete, the computer
     will serve as a watchdog for the nation's nuclear stockpile
     -- allowing scientists to develop 3D simulations to analyze
     the effects of aging on our nation's nuclear weapons. In a
     White House press conference, President Clinton said the
     computer will calculate in one second what it would take
     someone with a hand-held computer 30,000 years to do.

*    With more than 2,500 systems installed around the world,
     nearly 40 percent of the U.S. Fortune 100 companies have
     selected the RS/6000 SP for such demanding applications as
     data warehousing, online transaction processing, enterprise
     resource planning, and server consolidation. The world's
     most successful companies rely on the SP to: access and
     update huge data bases, including airline and hotel
     reservation systems; identify consumer buying habits that
     improve profitability and reduce expenses; coordinate the
     disparate departments of global corporations; and power the
     Web sites that attract millions of visitors each day.

*    The IBM RS/6000 is rapidly becoming the Web server of
     choice -- powering sites as demanding as the U.S. Tennis
     Open, Wimbledon, and the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta.
     Leading companies have recognized the performance and
     scalability of the RS/6000, including Charles Schwab.
     Schwab uses RS/6000 to accommodate the rapid growth of its
     online trading service -- which allows its customers to buy
     and sell securities over the Internet.

*    Automakers, airline manufacturers, and pharmaceutical
     companies around the world are reducing business costs and
     bringing products to market faster by using RS/6000
     workstations and servers to design and develop new
     products. In Dresden, Germany, RS/6000 workstations are
     helping to rebuild die Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady),
     one of Europe's most treasured architectural landmarks that
     was destroyed during Allied Forces bombing raids in World
     War II.

Additional information can be found at the following web sites:

*    From Deep Blue to deep space: IBM RS/6000 technology lands
     NASA's Pathfinder on Mars (courtesy of the IBM home page)

*    NASA Pathfinder Mission


*    Indicates trademark or registered trademark of
     International Business Machines Corporation.

**   UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and
     other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open
     Company Ltd. AIX Version 4.2 is branded X/Open UNIX 95,
     signifying full compliance with the Single UNIX
     Specification (formerly known as Spec 1170).