UK’s Ambitious Investment: Isambard-AI to Become World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer with $273 Million Backing

The UK government is embarking on a groundbreaking project, investing $273 million to create Isambard-AI, their most potent supercomputer to date. Set to activate in the summer of 2024 at the University of Bristol, Isambard-AI is gearing up to become one of the world’s most powerful AI supercomputers. It boasts an impressive array of over 5,000 Nvidia GH200 Grace Hopper Superchips, enabling it to perform more than 21 exaflops of AI tasks. This equates to a staggering 21 quintillion floating-point operations per second, particularly for training large language models.

The University of Bristol proudly claims that Isambard-AI will outshine the UK’s current fastest AI supercomputer by a factor of 10. The supercomputer will reside in a self-cooled, self-contained data center at Bristol’s National Composites Center, ensuring optimal performance.

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What’s more, Isambard-AI is designed to collaborate with other supercomputers in the UK, promising even greater performance. Simon McIntosh-Smith, of the University of Bristol, envisions it as “one of the most powerful AI systems for open science anywhere” once it’s operational.

The announcement about Isambard-AI was made at the UK’s AI Safety Summit, a meeting attended by leaders from various countries, including the US. The summit aimed to address the potential risks associated with AI, making Isambard-AI a key topic of discussion. This investment highlights the UK’s commitment to advancing AI capabilities and contributing to global AI research and development.

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