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UK Awards $274M AI-Powered Supercomputer Contract

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The UK government has awarded the University of Bristol a $274.1 million contract to design and develop an artificial intelligence-powered supercomputer.

The effort is part of the United Kingdom’s project to establish an Artificial Intelligence Research Resource in the country to support the government’s goal of leading the world in AI advancements.

To deliver the requirement, the university selected Hewlett Packard Enterprise to assemble the powerful computing machine.

The tech company is tasked to build a system that will run on the next-generation HPE Cray EX supercomputers and over 5,000 state-of-the-art Nvidia GH200 superchips.

To be known as Isambard-AI, HPE said the supercomputer can perform up to 200 quadrillion calculations per second. It will be 10 times more powerful than the latest supercomputer in the U.K. today.

The company will deliver and install the machine at the National Composites Centre in Bristol, England, in 2024. When it becomes operational there, the supercomputer is envisioned to enable advanced research works to achieve AI-driven breakthroughs in robotics, big data, climate research and drug discovery.

Isambard-AI will be networked with a new supercomputer cluster called Dawn at the University of Cambridge. The combined computing capacity will be part of the new national AIRR.

In a statement, Justin Hotard, executive vice president and general manager at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said the Isambard-AI system will harness world-leading supercomputing to provide the performance and scale required for compute-intensive AI projects.

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