KAUST Installs Cray CS-Storm 500NX Supercomputer 

University expands compute capabilities to power GPU-accelerated applications and converged workloads in the exascale era for global research in food, water, energy, the environment and digitalization.

University expands compute capabilities to power GPU-accelerated applications and converged workloads in the exascale era for global research in food, water, energy, the environment and digitalization.

At the 2019 Supercomputing Conference in Denver, CO, global supercomputer leader Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company, announced that the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia has selected a Cray CS-Storm 500NX supercomputer to support innovation in the university and the nation through a strategic artificial intelligence (AI) initiative.

The added power of the graphics processing unit-accelerated CS-Storm system provides KAUST researchers greater computational capabilities to drive positive and significant outcomes in the university’s core research areas of global significance: food, water, energy, the environment and digitalization.

From helping to build smart cities to developing AI algorithms that think like scientists, KAUST is reportedly the largest research center in the Middle East that brings together faculty, researchers and graduate students to leverage the interconnectedness of science and engineering. With an 8:2 ratio of GPUs to CPUs, the new Cray CS-Storm 500NX supercomputer will meet KAUST’s most demanding computing requirements for production scalability, while also delivering a low total cost of ownership.

Engineered for the convergence of modeling, simulation and analytics, the CS-Storm fast-started KAUST’s AI journey and provides researchers and scientists the highly advanced supercomputing and software capabilities required to analyze large volumes of data for rapid insight, where simulation alone is unsatisfactory for predicting real-world outcomes.

“Cray is honored to support KAUST’s digital transformation agenda and tradition of science and technology excellence,” says Peter Ungaro, president and CEO at Cray, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.

“KAUST is beginning to apply more analytics and AI methods into its core research areas and converged workloads such as seismic simulation, machine learning and scientific computing, which require significant compute power and software optimization,” he adds. “The Cray-CS Storm is a production workhorse for accelerated, converged workload environments and will help drive KAUST’s AI initiatives in the exascale era.”

The Cray CS-Storm 500NX enables larger models and faster results for AI and deep learning neural network training. The system uses NVLink technology to tightly couple the NVIDIA GPUs together, providing a high-speed interconnect that enables ultra-fast communication between the GPUs. KAUST’s new system will feature NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core GPUs, 2nd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processors and the Mellanox ConnectX-6 HDR-100 Dual-Port VPI adapter.

“Cray’s new GPU-accelerated system at KAUST is ideally suited to supporting the university’s increasingly converged workloads,” says Ian Buck, vice president and general manager of Accelerated Computing at NVIDIA. “NVIDIA’s GPU computing platform delivers groundbreaking AI performance and, together with the CS-Storm, is poised to help KAUST solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.”

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

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