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Saudi KAU deploys Fujitsu supercomputing system

System to provide high-end computational modelling for research into various fields

The system (not pictured) can offer high-end computational modeling and simulation capabilities beyond academia
The system (not pictured) can offer high-end computational modeling and simulation capabilities beyond academia

King Abdulaziz University (KAU) in Saudi Arabia this week deployed a new supercomputing system from Fujitsu, inaugurating a Centre of Excellence that will support researchers and scientists affiliated with the university.

According to KAU, the new system will significantly boost research capabilities in meteorology and climate modelling, engineering, nanotechnology, aeronautics, genomic research, real-time vision, bioinformatics, water desalination, and industry-specific numerical simulations in the Kingdom.

Through the Centre of Excellence, the university aims to study the impact of developments in these fields on Saudi Arabian society, it said in a statement.

"As the largest university in Saudi Arabia, we deliver a global standard in research resources that supports the public and private sector in the Kingdom," said Prof. Abdulfattah Mashat, vice president of development at KAU.

"We also focus on developing our ICT solutions that allows over 160,000 students to flourish at KAU. As a consequence, our investment in Fujitsu's HPC technology helped KAU deliver upon its responsibilties by providing a reliable solution for students, academics and researches, who can leverage our new Centre of Excellence and the technical support it will provide."

KAU's new integrated and certified cluster-type supercomputer consists of Fujitsu PRIMERGY servers and storage systems that include models from the FUJITSU Storage ETERNUS series. The system is slated to be able to deliver high performance for scientific and engineering applications.

Fujitsu will also provide on-site maintainence and training to help implement and operate the project in collaboration with KAU.

Whilst the Department of Meteorology, Environment and Arid Land Agriculture commissioned the project, the faculty of Computer and Information Technology and Genomic Research Center provided individual specifications to help Fujitsu deliver the bespoke system.

However, the system can offer high-end computational modeling and simulation capabilities beyond academia, with uses cases applicable to Saudi Arabia's commercial and manufacturing industries.

To start off with, KAU will use the new system to create meteorological models of particular interest to Saudi Arabia, such as for sand storms, and to develop technology for the desalination of sea water.

Meanwhile, Fujitsu is assigning dedicated personnel specialised in climate change research and code optimisation to support the Center of Excellence for Climate Change Research of KAU, so that the full potential of the system can be utilised.

"The demand for high-performance computing technology is increasing and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and KAU understand the value it will add for industries such as aerospace, meteorology, healthcare, energy, environment and education and for the development of smart cities," said Akira Kabemoto, head of Fujitsu's Service Platform Business.

"As a consequence, we worked in close collaboration with KAU to develop a solution that can deliver the necessary capacity to perform the most sophisticated, computer-intensive simulations and modelling for the country."