By revenue, oil and gas giant Saudi Aramco is one of the largest companies in the world, and it has historically employed commensurate amounts of supercomputing power. Now, Aramco has unveiled – in partnership with stc Group – the latest and most powerful addition to its supercomputing workforce: Dammam 7, a top ten-ranked supercomputer.
Dammam 7 was created by HPE Cray in partnership with Dhahran Techno Valley (a subsidiary of the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals) and Solutions (a subsidiary of MENA IT firm stc Group). Dammam 7 is powered by Intel Xeon Gold 6248 CPUs, contains over 506 TB of memory and uses Nvidia InfiniBand HDR 100 networking. In total, this powerhouse delivers 22.4 Linpack petaflops, which placed it tenth on the most recent Top500 list of the world’s most powerful publicly ranked supercomputers.
Aramco will primarily be using Dammam 7, which is named after the first commercial oil well discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938, to assist with oil and gas discovery and recovery through enhanced capabilities in imaging and deep learning. Aramco hopes that the new system will reduce risks and enhance efficiency for the publicly owned corporation.
“[Dammam 7] will help us with breakthroughs as part of our long term ‘Discovery and Recovery’ strategy in our Upstream business,” said Amin H. Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco, in a press release. “This technology that processes complex data faster will enable new discoveries and enhanced recoveries, which are crucial to both ensuring the availability of adequate supply to meet the demand for energy and to cut costs while boosting productivity. Continuous investment in innovative technology is an essential enabler of our Company’s long-term growth strategy, and Dammam 7 is another step in our plan to invest in the right technology that drives production efficiency and resilience.”
“The inauguration of the supercomputer data center in Aramco will open up new horizons in exploration, which will have a significant impact on data digitization and quality,” added Nasser S. Al-Nasser, CEO of stc Group. “These are in line with the digital transformation plans of the desired national outlook, and we are proud to have worked with locals to establish [the] Dammam 7 Center.”
Dammam 7 will join the ranks of supercomputers like Unizah-II, another Aramco-owned system, which was also installed in 2020 and also placed on the latest Top500 (albeit at a much lower 86th place with 3.5 Linpack petaflops of computing power). That same Top500 list further includes Saudi Aramco’s Makman-3 (177th), Makman-2 (192nd) and Unayzah (438th) systems.
Header image: the Dammam 7 inauguration ceremony. Image courtesy of Saudi Aramco.