SAUDI ARABIA: Supercomputer lures researchers

A new science and technology university in Saudi Arabia will house the world's sixth largest supercomputer and it is helping lure top researchers to the conservative desert state, reports Reuters. The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is due to open next year on the Red Sea coast near Jeddah.

On campus, male and female students will be able to mingle freely, contrary to strict gender segregation enforced in most of the country. The university is part of a series of reforms by King Abdullah aiming to open the country up.

"The supercomputer is the cornerstone of this knowledge-based economy that we are seeking," said Majid Al-Ghaslan, in charge of the acquisition, design and development of the 'Shaheen' supercomputer. Named after the peregrine falcon, which attains speeds of up to 340 kilometres an hour, Shaheen is expected to reach 222 teraflops, a measure equalling a trillion floating point operations per second, Ghaslan said.
Full report on the Reuters site