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Nvidia and University of Florida team up on 700-petaflop AI supercomputer

Written by Wed 22 Jul 2020

Nvidia to fit University of Florida HiPerGator system with its latest HPC architecture 

The University of Florida will soon house academia’s most powerful AI supercomputer following an agreement with chipmaker Nvidia to revamp its HiPerGator system with Nvidia’s latest HPC technology.

Nvidia claims HiPerGator will deliver 700 petaflops of AI performance once it has been upgraded with the chipmaker’s latest DGX SuperPOD architecture — the tech behind Nvidia’s own supercomputer, Selene, which ranks seventh in Top500‘s global supercomputer rankings.

While HiPerGator, currently in its second-generation, won’t surpass Selene in the global leaderboards, it will be around 18 times as powerful as the University of Texas Frontera supercomputer, currently the world’s fastest academic supercomputer.

It will also be the first supercomputer in higher education to receive Nvidia DGX A100 systems, which consist of Nvidia A100 Ampere GPUs, AMD Eypc Rome CPUs and 200 Gbps Mellanox networking technology.

HiPerGator will be packed with 140 DGX A100 systems, comprising 1120 Nvidia A100 Tensor Core accelerators, 4 petabytes of DDN storage and 15 kilometres of optical cable.

The entire project will cost around $70 million, $50 million of which has been underwritten by Nvidia co-founder and University of Florida alumnus Chris Malachowsky.

“I’ve reached a point in my life, both professionally and personally where I was ready to give back, and I focus those efforts on University of Florida,” explained Malachowsky.

HiPerGator 3.0

The new and improved HiPerGator will enter production at the start of 2021 and support AI training, inference and data analytics at the university and across the state of Florida.

The university said it planned to use its new-fangled AI machine to run simulations and predictive analytics to tackle major challenges such as rising seas, ageing populations, data security, personalised medicine, urban transportation and food insecurity.

University of Florida’s health department is already a trailblazer for AI-powered healthcare. Its DeepSOFA system deploys models to help collect, organise, and monitor patient conditions in real-time. The university has also committed to hiring an additional 100 faculty members to focus on AI technology and domain applications.

“UF’s leadership has a bold vision for making artificial intelligence accessible across its campus,” said Malachowsky.

“What really got Nvidia and me excited was partnering with UF to go broader still, and make AI available to K-12 students, state and community colleges, and businesses. This will help address underrepresented communities and sectors across the region where the technology will have a profound positive effect.”

Written by Wed 22 Jul 2020

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AI hpc supercomputer
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