Shaheen II Supercomputer to power COVID-19 research

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KAUST has opened a call for proposals for COVID-19 research to be run on the Shaheen II supercomputer and related resources. Shaheen II joins many supercomputers around the world that have recently reallocated a portion of their resources to campaigns to model the pandemic.

Shaheen II is a Cray XC-40 supercomputer based on Intel Haswell processors with nearly 200,000 compute cores tightly connected with Aries high-speed interconnect; Ibex cluster, a high throughput computer system with about 500 computing nodes using Intel Skylake and Cascade Lake CPUs and Nvidia V100 GPUs; and KSL staff scientists, who will provide support, training and consultancy to maximize impact.

KAUST has approximately two dozen research responses to the COVID-19 pandemic already underway as part of the effort of the Rapid Research Response Team (R3T). The Extreme Computing Research Center is modeling its aerodynamic transport. Through June 30, 2020, up to 15% of these resources will be reserved for fast-tracking competitive COVID-19 proposals through the KAUST Research Computing Allocation Committee.

Beyond the fast-tracking period, Shaheen II remains available for continuing efforts in combatting the pandemic, as well as general research computing applications through the standard allocation process. The system currently supports researchers from nearly 20 research institutions or corporations from around the Kingdom.

Apply for computing allocations by filling in the COVID-19 Project Proposal form and submitting it to

David Keyes from KAUST is Program Chair of ISC 2020, now a virtual event.

In related news, “COVID-19 and High Performance Computing” is the subject of a special session of the now virtualized ISC 2020 conference, according to Professor David Keyes, Director of KAUST’s Extreme Computing Research Center, who is the Program Chair of the event.

Virtualizing the longest-running supercomputing conference, which would have drawn close to 4000 physical participants, is a first-in-a-lifetime challenge,” says Keyes, “though virtualization may be hybridized into the norm for conferences from now on. We decided to reprogram part of the conference to address the very nemesis that sent it into cyberspace.”

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