Riyadh — Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced that King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has selected HPE to build its next-generation supercomputer, Shaheen III, to provide cutting-edge supercomputing and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities Promote research in areas such as food, water, energy and the environment.
Supercomputing capacity is becoming increasingly important for global innovation, industrial competitiveness and economic growth. From accelerating vaccine discovery to fight a pandemic, advancing clean energy systems to increase sustainability, to unlocking new possibilities in AI, supercomputing is a core technology for solving the world’s most challenging scientific and engineering problems.
Shaheen III ushers in a new era of scientific discovery and AI innovation for the Middle East
Shaheen III, which is expected to be 20 times faster than KAUST’s existing system, will be the most powerful supercomputer in the Middle East to address critical areas of societal and environmental impact.
Built by HPE, the world leader in supercomputers, the new Shaheen III system will revolutionize KAUST’s ability to process massive amounts of data at immense speed and scale, and enable its users to make discoveries that it did not have before, and open up new potential for AI.
Shaheen III is built with the HPE Cray EX supercomputer, a next-generation platform designed to support unprecedented performance and scalability, including achieving exaflop speeds.
The HPE Cray EX supercomputer, which offers advanced end-to-end capabilities in compute and accelerated computing, networking, storage, and software solutions, enables KAUST to apply significant computing power to model and simulate scientific problems faster and more accurately.
HPE’s supercomputing capabilities also enable AI at scale by combining its massive computing power and specialized capabilities needed to build machine learning models and train large amounts of data.
With the Shaheen III design, HPE further advances KAUST’s AI-at-scale mission by integrating the HPE Machine Learning Development Environment, an optimized software stack for model training and development.
By combining the machine learning software platform with key supercomputing technologies, KAUST users can develop and train AI models faster and larger to increase accuracy.
“At HPE, our purpose is to improve the way people live and work, and we are honored to advance Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision for a new era of innovation by arming KAUST with a cutting-edge supercomputer,” said Antonio Neri, President and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
“Shaheen III will significantly accelerate research at KAUST by using world-leading supercomputing and AI capabilities at scale to increase the accuracy of analyzes and solve complex scientific questions.”
“The new HPE Cray EX system will enable us to conduct research on a larger scale, which will lead to significant scientific, economic and social advances,” said Dr. Tony F. Chan, President of KAUST.
“In line with Vision 2030, we strive to meet the ever-increasing demands of our active and solution-oriented faculty, as well as external partners, for faster and more efficient computing resources.
“KAUST’s supercomputing resources are used by more than half of our faculty, students, post-docs and researchers, as well as researchers from more than 20 external organizations in the Kingdom.”
Accelerating research and development in the fields of energy, environment, healthcare and biotechnology
Shaheen III will be fully operational in 2023. The new supercomputer will process unique datasets in focus areas such as clean combustion, Red Sea ecosystems, climate modeling and the Arabian tectonic plate, while delivering analysis, modeling and simulation at a superior resolution.
KAUST users plan a range of applications including the design of new materials for low-cost/high-performance solar photovoltaics; new industrial catalytic processes to increase energy efficiency while reducing waste; personalized healthcare and drug discovery; increased hydrocarbon recovery with reduced environmental and economic costs; and using genetic, genomic, and epigenetic approaches to improve drought tolerance and resilience of plants in desert environments.
Equipped with more than 2,800 NVIDIA Grace Hopper Superchips, tightly coupled CPU/GPU accelerators, the Shaheen supercomputer will enable the development of novel and scalable techniques in core areas of AI such as deep learning, reinforcement learning, federated learning, visual computing and natural language processing and also provide unique opportunities to further scale traditional HPC workloads.
This GPU-accelerated division will also facilitate the broad deployment of applied AI in scientific and engineering applications, including computational chemistry, biology, and materials science, that were previously unfeasible given the large-scale nature of the datasets produced and used at KAUST.
Applications will increase in the coming years as Shaheen III is expected to offer 100 petaflops/s performance and outstanding AI modeling capabilities.
“A supercomputer like Shaheen III is a universal scientific instrument used by scientists and engineers in all disciplines for tasks such as simulation, analyzing experimental data, learning from observed data, and efficiently storing and retrieving data,” said KAUST Extreme Research Computing Center (ECRC) Director Dr. David Keyes, Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computational Science.
“It is the ultimate scientific ‘watering hole’ where researchers from different disciplines exchange techniques and software tools. Progress in one area spurs progress in several.”
As one of the world’s leading supercomputing centers, KAUST builds on the success of its first supercomputer, Shaheen I, launched in 2009, followed by Shaheen II, a Cray-based supercomputer that is 25 times faster at 5.54 petaflop/s is than its predecessor.
“Shaheen II delivered 6.8 billion core hours to more than 1,467 users, resulting in data used in approximately 1,030 publications to date,” said Dr. Jysoo Lee, Director of KAUST Research Computing Core Labs. “Shaheen III will ensure that the KAUST community maintains its edge as a world-class university in computer science.”
“AMD is committed to advancing scientific research and development in high-performance computing and advancing the technology behind computational modeling, simulation and AI,” said Forrest Norrod, senior vice president and general manager, Data Center Solutions Business Group, AMD.
“Powered by AMD EPYC processors, Shaheen III will enable new discoveries that will have regional and global implications for climate, clean energy, and tectonic plate modeling, all made possible by the collaboration between KAUST scientists and HPE.”
“As we move deeper into the era of exascale AI, supercomputers like the Shaheen III will become increasingly important in transforming society,” said Ian Buck, vice president of Hyperscale and HPC at NVIDIA.
“Through our close collaboration with KAUST and HPE, and the introduction of our new Grace Hopper superchip, the Shaheen III will be an essential scientific instrument, offering unmatched performance to solve the world’s toughest challenges.” —SG