Sun selects Swiss Federal Institute of Technology as a Center of Excellence in biomedical research

Santa Clara 02 December 2002Building on its commitment to advance academic research through high performance computing technology, Sun Microsystems Inc. has selected Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich (ETHZ) as a Center of Excellence (COE) in Biomedical Research. The National Center of Competence in Research for Computer Aided and Image Guided Medical Interventions (NCCR Co-Me), hosted by ETHZ, is utilising Sun's high performance computing systems and graphics solutions to aid in the promotion of a new model for medical interventions and ultimately, patient care.


The focus of the NCCR is to develop, integrate, and validate enabling technologies for advanced computer-aided and image-guided systems that will assist the medical community in surgical procedures. It is the goal that these medical interventions will support the complete patient treatment process from diagnosis, therapeutic planning and simulation via intra-operative action to post-operative care, monitoring and documentation. During the first work phase of the Center of Excellence, researchers will be focused on the development of a highly realistic Virtual Reality simulator system for hysteroscopy.

Similar to flight simulators, virtual and augmented reality technology offers an appealing way to provide adequate training for surgical procedures without risks and direct patient involvement. Due to the enormous complexity of the systems to be simulated and the high demand for computational resources, Sun's high performance solutions are central to providing the necessary compute capacity to enable this research. Currently, the NCCR is utilising Sun Fire V880 servers and Sun Blade 2000 workstations. The NCCR team will also be participating in Sun's upcoming December workshop on application parallelisation which will provide instruction on improving application performance.

"Utilising Sun's reliable and scalable HPC solutions, we are able to provide an optimal framework for the efficient and sustainable development of cutting-edge technologies for the simulation of large, complex biomedical systems", stated Dr. Gabor Szekely, director of NCCR Co-Me. "Our work represents the future of patient care and we are committed to working with Sun to more fully utilise the emerging technologies in high performance computing and high performance graphics to further our research efforts."

"Sun's COE programme is advancing critical academic research in fields from e-learning to biomedical simulation and reaches across the globe", stated Klaus Landl, sales and business development manager of Switzerland. "The selection of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology exemplifies the principles of the Sun's COE programme, utilising technology innovation in academic research that brings real results. The research in biomedical simulation that the NCCR Co-Me is undertaking is critical to improving patient care."

Sun's Center of Excellence programme includes more than 30 centres worldwide in the areas of high performance computing, computational biology, digital libraries and e-learning. Sun is a provider of open network computing solutions to colleges and universities around the world, powering academic, research and high performance computing systems, campus administration, digital libraries and student instruction systems. In addition, Sun is committed to connecting the world's students to the Internet, beginning with primary and secondary schools and extending to all levels of higher education.

Leslie Versweyveld

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