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University of Florida, Nvidia Plan Fastest AI Supercomputer in Academia

The University of Florida and Nvidia have unveiled a plan to build what they say will be the world’s fastest AI supercomputer in academia, delivering 700 petaflops of AI performance and infusing AI throughout UF’s curriculum.

The $70 million project will fund construction of an AI-centric supercomputing and data center and is intended to make UF one of the leading AI universities in the country, according to UF and Nvidia. As part of the partnership, they will boost the capabilities of the university’s supercomputer, HiPerGator, with the recently announced Nvidia DGX SuperPOD architecture, designed for “rapid deployment and scaling of massive AI infrastructure,” with the revamped system scheduled to be operational by early 2021.

HiPerGator will integrate 140 DGX A100 systems powered by 1,120 Nvidia A100 Tensor Core GPUs and will include 4 petabytes of high performance storage. An Nvidia Mellanox HDR 200Gb/s InfiniBand will provide high performance network connectivity.

The AI supercomputer will support faculty and students research into major challenges, including pandemics such as COVID-19, supporting agriculture in a time of climate change, addressing the needs of an aging population, managing the effects of rising sea levels in a state with more than 1,300 miles of coastline, data security, personalized medicine, urban transportation and food insecurity.

The project is funded by a $25 million gift from alumnus and Nvidia founder (and fellow) Chris Malachowsky, along with $25 million in hardware, software, training and services from Nvidia. UF will invest another $20 million. The idea for the gift stemmed from a casual conversation last September, when Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, Malachowsky, and his wife, Melody, met with UF leaders and discussed the state of AI.

“It wasn’t long after that I decided I wanted to gift UF an AI supercomputer,” Malachowsky said.

As part of the partnership, they will boost the capabilities of the university’s supercomputer, HiPerGator, with the recently announced Nvidia DGX SuperPOD architecture, designed for ‘rapid deployment and scaling of massive AI infrastructure,’ with the revamped system scheduled to be operational by early 2021.

UF said it plans to promote accessibility to its computing capabilities by collaborating with historically Black colleges and universities and Hispanic-serving institutions, as well as with K-12 programs. It also will establish an Equitable AI Program to create standards and certifications to combat bias and unethical practices. UF also said it will partner with industry and other academic groups, such as the Inclusive Engineering Consortium.

In addition, the Nvidia Deep Learning Institute will collaborate with UF on developing new curriculum for students and the community, including encouragement of young adults and teens in STEM and AI. UF will become the site of an Nvidia AI Technology Center, where UF graduate fellows and Nvidia employees will work together to advance AI.

UF is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to receive Nvidia DGX A100 systems. UF said it expects to create 30,000 AI-enabled graduates by 2030.

 

Comments

  1. At this point, who cares? A waste of money. We have NERSC, TACC SDSC, Summit, Sierra, Aurora coming. Spend the money on cancer research.

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