Dell and Intel Deploy UK AI Supercomputer at Univ. of Cambridge

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UK AI supercomputers are breaking out all over.

Today, Dell, Intel and the University of Cambridge have announced the deployment of the co-designed “Dawn” Phase 1 supercomputer. Claiming the system to be the U.K.’s fastest AI system, it will be comprised of Dell PowerEdge XE9640 servers, each one combining two 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors and four Intel Data Center GPU Max Series “Ponte Vecchio” accelerators.

While Intel said Dawn brings the U.K. “closer to reaching the compute threshold of a quintillion (1018) floating point operations per second,” i.e., exascale, the company said technical details and performance numbers for the system will be released at the SC23 conference in Denver later this month.

The news follows an announcement yesterday that HPE will build Isambard-AI, an NVIDIA-powered HPC-AI system at the University of Bristol in the UK.

Intel said usage domains for the system include healthcare, engineering, green fusion energy, climate modelling and frontier science within cosmology and high-energy physics.

Dawn Phase 1 and Isambard AI supercomputer will join to form the AIRR, a U.K. national facility to help researchers investigate the potential of AI and support work into the potential and safe use of the technology. Dawn, supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), will increase the country’s AI and simulation compute capacity.

“Dawn Phase 1 represents a huge step forward in AI and simulation capability for the U.K., deployed and ready to use now,” said Dr. Paul Calleja, director of Research Computing Services at the University of Cambridge. “The system plays an important role within a larger context, where this co-design activity aims to deliver a Phase 2 supercomputer in 2024 which will boast 10 times the level of performance. If taken forward, Dawn Phase 2 would significantly boost the U.K. AI capability and continue this successful industry partnership.”

“Dawn considerably strengthens the scientific and AI compute capability available in the U.K., and it’s on the ground, operational today at the Cambridge Open Zettascale Lab,” said Adam Roe, EMEA HPC technical director at Intel. “Dell PowerEdge XE9640 servers offer a no-compromises platform to host the Intel Data Center GPU Max Series accelerator, which opens up the ecosystem to choice through oneAPI. I’m very excited to see the sorts of early science this machine can deliver and continue to strengthen the Open Zettascale Lab partnership between Dell Technologies, Intel and the University of Cambridge, and further broaden that to the U.K. scientific and AI community.”