UK’s Groundbreaking Investment of $273 Million to Construct Isambard-AI Supercomputer.

November 2, 2023

The United Kingdom is taking a giant leap in the realm of artificial intelligence with a remarkable investment of $273 million to build Isambard-AI, its most potent supercomputer to date. Set to be one of the world’s premier AI supercomputers upon activation, Isambard-AI will perform over 200 quadrillion calculations per second, fueled by a multitude of NVIDIA superchips. This groundbreaking venture is expected to shape the future of AI technology, opening doors to innovative research and applications.

Isambard-AI is poised to be a game-changer in the world of AI computing. Set to commence operations in the summer of 2024, this supercomputer will call the University of Bristol home. Constructed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and equipped with 5,448 of NVIDIA’s GH200 Grace Hopper Superchips, it is anticipated to deliver over 21 exaflops of AI performance. This translates to more than 21 quintillion floating-point operations per second, ideally suited for AI applications, including the training of large language models.

Isambard-AI is not merely a leap, but a giant leap in computing capabilities. It is projected to be ten times faster than the current fastest supercomputer in the United Kingdom. Nestled within Bristol’s National Composites Center, it will reside in a “self-cooled, self-contained data center,” ensuring optimal operating conditions.

The announcement was made during the UK’s AI Safety Summit, a gathering of leaders from multiple countries to deliberate on the future of AI and its associated risks. Isambard-AI is expected to interconnect with other supercomputers across the UK, creating a formidable network to enhance computing capabilities. As per Simon McIntosh-Smith of the University of Bristol, Isambard-AI is destined to become “one of the most powerful AI systems for open science anywhere.”

This substantial investment underscores the UK’s ambitious goal to spearhead advancements in artificial intelligence technology. The launch of Isambard-AI promises to drive innovation, research, and breakthroughs across a multitude of fields. As the world witnesses the emergence of this supercomputer, the future of AI stands on the brink of unprecedented potential.








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