IBM expands server laboratory in Taiwan

Lab researchers will design systems to help commercial computers make better use of stored data

IBM is expanding a laboratory in Taiwan to design high-end servers for the growing demands of corporate database users, the company said on Monday.

The U.S.-based technology multinational will increase staff by 10 per cent at an existing laboratory in Taipei and use that talent to study new designs of its Power Systems-branded servers, IBM representatives said.

IBM needs higher-end servers for corporate customers throughout the world and will focus on emerging markets, as companies look for ways to make better or faster use of computerized records such as client databases.

It has run the Taiwan Systems and Technology Laboratory since 2004 after choosing the island as one of its 37 world lab locations because of skilled local labor and support from government.

The lab, which began expanding on Thursday, will work on designs for computer systems in the electrical and mechanical fields, customer services and cross-region management, IBM said. Last year it concentrated on systems for electrical grids, mobile communications, health care and financial markets.

"I think this is a statement about IBM's success in Taiwan," said laboratory Director Chris Verne. "It's about having an ecosystem of products and companies we can work with."

The company will pass on its server architecture to Taiwan's high-tech contractors for design and manufacturing.

The expansion will help make Taiwan’s contract manufacturing industries smarter and more service oriented, increasing their use of Power Systems computing for analytics and complex applications, IBM said.

IBM said its Power systems held a 54 per cent share of the Unix server market in the fourth quarter of last year, a gain of nearly six points over its competitors, which include Hewlett-Packard and Oracle, following that company's acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

IBM declined to say how much money it planned to invest in the Taipei lab expansion.

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Ralph Jennings

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