From Oil to a Borg Cube Made of a Million Computers: Saudi's Leapfrog to Top of Supercomputing Powers
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September 29, 2008

From Oil to a Borg Cube Made of a Million Computers: Saudi's Leapfrog to Top of Supercomputing Powers

Borg_cube_from_bridge Saudi Arabia is pretty well off, what with owning about a quarter of all the petroleum on the planet.  They have a budget surplus of over forty-eight billion dollars while many Americans don't know that words other than "deficit" can go after "budget". However, many on the Web 2.0 are keen to say that information is the new currency - so Saudi is just going to buy the ability to make some.  They can afford it.

The Saudi government is buying a hectoteraflopping megacomputer for the newly commissioned King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).  If you don't know what a teraflop is, just imagine a row of a hundred desktop computers.  Now imagine a hundred of those rows.  Then a stack of a hundred of those squares - in fact, to save time, just imagine a Borg cube made of a million computers.

The newly founded KAUST plans to leapfrog to the forefront of computational research with this megamachine, named the "Shaheen" - the Arabic word for falcon - and due to be one of the top ten processors or the planet.  The name may well be a snipe at IBM's "Roadrunner" - currently number one on the same list.  The Shaheen won't compare to it when first built, but with plans to expand up into the exaflop range (one quintillion floating point computations per second) that could only be a matter of time.

If any can beat IBM's super-system, it'll certainly be the builders of the Shaheen - who are also IBM.  The supercomputer is being assembled in New York and the minor matter that US companies are forbidden to sell high-tech to Saudi Arabia isn't expected to be a problem.  Things like that generally aren't for countries with fifty billion dollars to spare.

With computer simulation becoming useful in a wider variety of fields than ever, from nanotechnology to energy research (though it's unlikely the world's premier oil economy is going to be working on fusion power), this system could work to attract international academics to a region they might otherwise avoid.

Posted by Luke McKinney.

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Saudi Supercomputer

Comments

"...this system could work to attract international academics to a region they might otherwise avoid."

Except female ones, of course.

The country is still behind in the of building the infrastructure for both close to the 20th sentry life standards and jobs for the people, not even making available enough drinking water for the all people.

We don’t call over forty-eight billion dollars surplus, but rather money not knowing how what to do with it!

The country is still behind in building of the the infrastructure for both the 20th sentry life standards and jobs for the people, not even making available enough drinking water for all people.

We don’t call over forty-eight billion dollars surplus, but rather money not knowing how and what to do with it!

I assume the invoice will be for 1 million Quad Core processors... rather than for one ultraputer.

Let's hope they don't use Vista!!
:)

This isn't Saudi's first super computer..Aramco has been running huge HPC systems since the 70's (Cray systems now migrated to linux clusters ) and its figured very often in top500.org

HI THERE I AM A MASTER CHIEF THE BORG ARE USEING A BLACK HOLE LAZER HARD DRIVES

Nice post. Thanks...

HI THERE YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT THE BORG COLECTIVE THEY USE INFINT CORE CPU BLACK HOLE LASER HARD DRIVES AND THEY HAVE TIME TRAVEL WOULD MAKE FOR A ALWSOME GAMING CONSOLE NOTHING GRENNER OR FASTER THEN THE BORG COLECTIVE WE SHOULD LET THE BORG BUILD OUR GAMING CONSOLES

OH HERE IS MY BORG SONG ROW ROW YOUR BORG CUBE GENTLY GENTLY DOWN THE MILKY WAY

Thanks you By S3k1L

Thanks you By S3k1L


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