DARPA – which funded early development of the Internet – will contribute $2 million to IBM to help fund the research.
IBM will develop technology for increasing the reliability and energy efficiency of high-end computing systems. Prototypes will be built for the US military next year.
The company will use its research internally and develop design-analysis tools for estimating and analysing power consumption and performance in systems utilizing PowerPC processors.
The power requirements of IT systems accounted for ten per cent of US energy consumption in 1994, according to the US Department of Energy. IBM hopes to develop more energy-efficient products.
DARPA has worked with IBM on various projects over the past several decades, including research on parallel computing, security, cognitive computer systems and advanced computer architecture.
Bear Stearns analyst Andrew Neff believes IBM should exit the PC business and focus on technological innovation, software and services.
His recent report also predicts Apple to be 80 per cent likely to move to Intel processors over the next four years,
Neff believes the computer industry is “inside a period of overcapacity and slower growth”, generating a wave of consolidation, alliances and mergers.
Neff also predicted the HP/Compaq merger.