Microsoft, Intel pump $20M into parallel computing initiative with universities

Microsoft and Intel are thinking in parallel. That is, they've come together to create two Universal Parallel Computing Research Centers (UPCRC) located at the University of California at

Berkeley, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Microsoft and Intel have committed a combined $20 million to the Berkeley and UIUC research centers over the next five years. An additional $8 million will come from UIUC, and UC Berkeley has applied for $7 million in funds from a state-supported program to match industry grants, according to the Microsoft press release.

Microsoft bills the partnership with universities as the first of its kind focused on mainstream parallel computing. Applications that will take advantage of parallel computing include rich digital media and visual interfaces, advanced statistical analysis and search, and mobile applications. "Ultimately, these sensing and human interface capabilities will bridge the physical world with the virtual,” according to Andrew Chien, vice president, Corporate Technology Group and director, Intel Research.

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