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Japan aims to strengthen AI competitiveness with new supercomputer

Japan’s Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) is going to deploy a supercomputer dedicated to generative artificial intelligence.

The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) will develop the supercomputer under METI’s supervision. It is expected to have around 2.5 times as much computing power as the METI’s current machine (also housed at the AIST) and to be ready as early as 2024.

Once created, the supercomputer will be available through a cloud service for domestic companies to use for developing generative AI.

Details of the hardware and specifications have not been provided, though earlier reports of a similar project by seem to suggest that the supercomputer could be made up of over 2,000 GPUs from Nvidia. The supercomputer is also being developed with the help of Sakura Internet.

METI is providing AIST with $226 million in funding to develop a new research center for supercomputers and quantum technologies. It is within this center that the new supercomputer will reside.

The AIST’s current supercomputer, known as the AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) is used by around 3,000 Japanese companies and researchers including Hitachi and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

While also used for AI, it lacks the ability to process huge amounts of data learning processes associated with generative AI. The ABCI currently ranks 24th on the Top500 and has 22 petaflops of computing capacity. Data Center Dynamics

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