12/4/2002 - Building on its commitment to advance academic research through high performance computing technology, Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) has selected Switzerland's Federal Institute of Technology at Zurich (ETHZ) as a Center of Excellence (COE) in Biomedical Research. The National Center of Competence in Research for Computer Aided and Image Guided Medical Interventions (NCCR Co-Me), hosted by ETHZ, is utilizing Sun's high performance computing systems and graphics solutions to aid in the promotion of a new model for medical interventions and ultimately, patient care.

The focus of the NCCR is to develop, integrate, and validate enabling technologies for advanced computer-aided and image-guided systems that will assist the medical community in surgical procedures. It is the goal that these medical interventions will support the complete patient treatment process from diagnosis, therapeutic planning and simulation via intra-operative action to postoperative care, monitoring and documentation. During the first work phase of the Center of Excellence, researchers will be focused on the development of a highly realistic VR simulator system for hysteroscopy.

Similar to flight simulators, virtual and augmented reality technology offers an appealing way to provide adequate training for surgical procedures without risks and direct patient involvement. Due to the enormous complexity of the systems to be simulated and the high demand for computational resources, Sun's high performance solutions are central to providing the necessary compute capacity to enable this research. Currently, the NCCR is utilizing Sun Fire V880 servers and Sun Blade 2000 workstations. The NCCR team will also be participating in Sun's upcoming December workshop on application parallelization which will provide instruction on improving application performance.

"Utilizing Sun's reliable and scalable HPC solutions, we're able to provide an optimal framework for the efficient and sustainable development of cutting-edge technologies for the simulation of large, complex biomedical systems," said Dr. Gabor Szekely, director of NCCR Co-Me. "Our work represents the future of patient care and we're committed to working with Sun to more fully utilize the emerging technologies in high performance computing and high performance graphics to further our research efforts."

"Sun's COE program is advancing critical academic research in fields from e-learning to biomedical simulation - and reaches across the globe," said Klaus Landl, sales and business development manager of Switzerland. "The selection of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology exemplifies the principles of the Sun's COE program - utilizing technology innovation in academic research that brings real results. The research in biomedical simulation that the NCCR Co-Me is undertaking is critical to improving patient care." Sun's Center of Excellence program includes more than 30 centers worldwide in the areas of high performance computing, computational biology, digital libraries and e-learning.

Sun in Education
Sun is a leading provider of open network computing solutions to colleges and universities around the world, powering academic, research and high performance computing systems, campus administration, digital libraries and student instruction systems. In addition, Sun is committed to connecting the world's students to the Internet, beginning with primary and secondary schools and extending to all levels of higher education. For information about Sun in Education's computational biology programs, please visit

About Sun Microsystems
Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision -- "The Network Is The Computer[tm]" -- has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work.

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Sun Fire and "The Network Is The Computer" are all trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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