Saudi Arabia unveils grand supercomputer


Plans a petascale system and more as it seeks top spot on
supercomputing’ s list

Saudi Arabia is building a supercomputer that could rank among the 10
most powerful systems in the world. And the country isn’t stopping there.

It has plans to turn this marquee system for the Middle East into a
petascale system in two years, and, beyond that, an exascale system.

The move represents a big leap for Saudi Arabia and the region
generally, which, despite massive oil wealth, has not had much of an
impact on information technology, except as consumers.

But Saudi Arabia is turning its oil wealth in a new direction. This
supercomputer, which is being built by IBM, will be located at King
Abdullah University of Science and Technology
(KAUST), a research
university that was announced in 2007 and is due to open in a year from now.

A data center that will house the supercomputer will be completed in the
summer months next year.

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