Monday, 29 Sep, 2008 Technology

Saudi Arabia to Become One of the Top Supercomputing Powers


The government of Saudi Arabia is purchasing a hectoteraflopping megacomputer, called "Shaheen," for the country's newly founded King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). The Daily Galaxy compares a teraflop with a Borg cube composed of a million desktop computers.

With its supercomputer the university looks forward to make a huge step towards the front position in the field of computational research. The name of the megacomputer "Shaheeen" from Arabic means falcon. Shaheen has good chances of being included in the list of ten most powerful processors on Earth.

When installed, scientists have the goal of expanding the hectoteraflop megacomputer up into the exaflop range to be able to compete with currently number one supercomputer - IBM's Roadrunner.

Some consider that if there is a computer that could compete with the super-system of IBM then it is certainly the Shaheen, whose developers also represent IBM. Currently engineers assemble the supercomputer in New York. Despite the fact that American companies are not allowed to sell high-tech equipment to Saudi Arabia, this particular case is not expected to raise any issues. This is mainly because Saudi Arabia has a budget surplus of $48 billion - the number itself represents a pretty good motivation.

No doubt that there is a probability that such technology would motivate scientists from abroad to come to Saudi Arabia - the country that they previously avoided visiting.

Source: The Daily Galaxy

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