Saudi supercomputer ranked as fourteenth most powerful worldwide
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology's Shaheen supercomputer ranks 14th on Top500.org list
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) new super computer has taken 14th place in the global list of the top 500 supercomputers compiled by www.top500.org.
The IBM Blue Gene/P System, named Shaheen, recorded a peak processing power of 185 Teraflops, ranking it among the top twenty high performance computing worldwide on its first entry into the list.
Majid Al-Ghaslan, KAUST’s interim CIO said: “Shaheen is the cornerstone of the knowledge-based economy that Saudi Arabia is seeking to develop. The deep computing capabilities Shaheen can deliver will unite the best of business and scientific computing techniques and will enable us to find the value buried in growing volumes of data and apply that information to solve real-world problems. Through our collaboration with IBM, we are finding it possible to tackle problems of unbelievable complexity—things we couldn’t dream of doing even a few years ago.”
The Shaheen system, first announced in September last year, is being run as a joint project between IBM’s Centre for Deep Computing Research and the private university, with the aim of providing high performance computing power for researchers across a range of disciplines, and to encourage research in the region.
Al-Ghaslan told itp.net at the time: “When you look at the history [of computing] some of the biggest names out there, like Bill Gates initially his whole fascination with computing came from access to a supercomputing laboratory in Seattle, so hopefully we can replicate that here as well.”
Shaheen is a 16-rack Blue Gene/P System, with 65,536 independent processing cores, and an advanced support architecture and network to connect it to other research organizations worldwide. The architecture has also been designed to be energy efficient, making it one of the greenest HPC systems in existence.
The IBM Blue Gene/P architecture is also in use for three other supercomputers in the top twenty, including Forschungszentrum Jülich’s JUGENE system, which jumped to third place.
The top two systems were unchanged, with the US Department of Environment’s IBM cluster-based ‘Roadrunner’ system still in the top spot, clocking in at 1.105 petaflop/s (quadrillions of floating point operations per second).
While not all systems participate in the top500.org rankings, only two other supercomputers in the Middle East region made the listing this time, Jeraisy Computer and Communication Services’ HP cluster, ranked 99th, and a system in Israel.
Overall, the Top500 listing was dominated by HP, with 42.4% of all systems in the list, and IBM, with 37.6%.