Intel Celebrates Stephen Hawking’s 70th Birthday w/ Custom 300mm Wafer

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 300mm silicon wafer typically used for mass production of Intel chips. The messages were “printed” using Intel’s 32nm 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 ten microns wide, which is approximately ten times smaller than the width of a human hair.

Stephen Hawking 70th Birthday present from Intel

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 analyse 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.

COSMOS Mk IX

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).

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