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NMSU testing new Itanium HP computers

New Mexico State University faculty member Jeanine Cook recently received a $220,602 equipment grant from Hewlett Packard to test new Itanium computers.

nt, which includes three servers with four processors each, will allow faculty and students to test a computer chip with revolutionary architecture.

"It's different from anything else out there," said Cook, an assistant professor with NMSU's Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "It's a pretty odd design."

Cook said the 64-bit architecture includes new techniques and additional hardware to increase the execution rate of instructions, allowing many different types of programs such as database, Web and scientific and mathematical applications to run faster. The new architecture also includes hardware for predication, a technique that eliminates instructions that only execute if certain conditions evaluate to be true in the program.

Cook, Eric Johnson, an electrical engineering professor, and Enrico Pontelli, an associate professor of computer science, will focus on performance counter accuracy, microprocessor simulator performance, computer network simulator performance and the performance of distributed logic programmed languages, respectively.

"We will investigate how this new design really affects performance of applications so we can understand the performance gains and losses," Cook said.