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  • Intel presents Professor Stephen Hawking with a custom “Happy Birthday” 300mm silicon wafer.
  • The new COSMOS Mk IX supercomputer, hosted at the Stephen Hawking Centre for Theoretical Cosmology and part of the UK DiRAC Facility, is based on Intel technology and will help answer fundamental questions about the origin and structure of the universe.
  • Intel to sponsor the annual International Conference on Particle Physics and Cosmology - COSMO 2013.


CAMBRIDGE, United Kingdom, January 21, 2013 – 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.

“This is a very special gift for an extraordinary scientist and an extraordinary man,” said Professor Martin Curley, Intel Vice President and Director of Intel Labs Europe, as he presented the award. “Professor Hawking’s ground-breaking scientific contributions and his remarkable resilience are an inspiration to us all.”

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.

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).

“We have a long standing relationship with Professor Hawking,” said Justin Rattner, Intel Chief Technology Officer and Managing Director of Intel Labs. “We are very pleased to continue to support the work of the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology and to work closely with Professor Hawking on improving his personal communication system.”

The silicon wafer was presented to Professor Hawking as a follow-up to the State of the Universe symposium, held to celebrate his 70th birthday and contributions to fundamental physics and cosmology. The event was streamed live by Intel on the Internet.

Intel also announced its sponsorship for the COSMO 2013 International Conference on Particle Physics and Cosmology, to be held in Cambridge on September 2-6, 2013. A series of high-profile speakers, are scheduled to attend, and Professor Hawking, Professor Brian Cox and Professor David Spergel will give public lectures at the event.


Professor Martin Curley hands over Intel's special

present to Professor Stephen Hawking.

Group in Server Room.jpg

In front of the COSMOS Mk IX supercomputer:

Left to right: David Fleming, Technology Director, Intel Labs Europe; Eugene Lim, Lecturer Cambridge; Ulrich Sperhake, Lecturer Cambridge; Martin Curley, Vice President and Director of Intel Labs Europe, Professor Paul Shellard, Director, Centre for Theoretical Cosmology; Andrey Kaliazin, Cosmos System Manager


About Intel Labs Europe,

            Intel R&D/Innovation in Europe is driven by a network of research labs, product development labs and innovation labs spanning the region as well as a variety of Intel business units. Intel Labs Europe was formally established in early 2009 as the central means of coordinating activities across this diverse and extensive network, and to strengthen and improve Intel’s alignment with European R&D. Today, Intel’s European research and development network, Intel Labs Europe, consists of more than 40 labs employing more than 4000 R&D professionals.


About Intel

Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for the world’s computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available at and


About the Stephen Hawking Centre for Theoretical Cosmology (CTC)

The CTC was founded by Stephen Hawking in 2007 to advance our mathematical understanding of the Universe.   It is part of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics within the University of Cambridge.   The CTC website can be found at 

You can learn more about the COSMOS@DiRAC supercomputer at  The DiRAC Facility is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council and the Department of Business Innovation and Skills through its Large Facilities Capital Fund.


Markus Weingartner

+49 89 9914 3145



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