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IBM Gives Back $30 Million Following Blue Waters Retraction

International Business Machines has returned $30 million to the University of Illinois after it decided to pull the plug on the Blue Waters supercomputing project.

John Melchi, the associate director at the National Centre for Supercomputing Applications, informed that the company had transferred the money to the university on Wednesday and was in the middle of taking its equipment away.

IBM had decided to cancel the contract due to the unprecedented costs and technical challenges it was facing. However, the university, which is currently looking for a new vendor to deliver the $300 million project, claims that the project can be completed in a timely fashion.

The Blue Waters supercomputer being built by IBM used the same POWER7 processor that powered the Watson supercomputer.

The University along with the National Centre for Supercomputing Applications plans to finish the sustained-petascale supercomputer by the end of 2012.

"The innovative technology that IBM ultimately developed was more complex and required significantly increased financial and technical support by IBM beyond its original expectations. NCSA and IBM worked closely on various proposals to retain IBM's participation in the project but could not come to a mutually agreed-on plan concerning the path forward." IBM and the NCSA had said in a joint statement earlier.