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AI services firms get access to European supercomputer

AI services firms get access to European supercomputer

A European Commission-financed "green" supercomputer is now live to aid developers and startups specialising in artificial intelligence services.

The MareNostrum 5 has been deployed at the Barceona Supercomputing Centre in Spain, and is currently ranked as one of the ten most powerful supercomputers in the world.

It will be accessible to a wide range of European scientific and industry users from March 2024.

MareNostrum 5 has a peak performance of 314 Petaflops, or 314 million billion calculations per second. It is also said to be the "greenest" supercomputer in Europe. It will be "highly energy efficient", fully powered with sustainable energy. The heat it generates will be used to heat the building where it is located.

The machine will help European medical research by supporting drug and vaccine development and carrying out virus spread simulations. It can also be used for traditional supercomputing applications, in areas such as climate research, engineering, materials science and Earth sciences.

In addition, MareNostrum 5 is designed to be used by artificial intelligence (AI) developers and startups. It will use the most advanced accelerator chips available today, said the Commission, which will help it meet the needs of emerging AI platforms and boost the performance of European large language models (LLMs).

"This should help accelerate the deployment of European technologies and ethical AI-based algorithms, allowing the EU to lead global efforts in responsible, ethical and safe AI," the Commission said.

The new system represents a total investment of over €151m to cover its acquisition and maintenance, with 50% coming from the European Union, and 50% from a Spanish-led consortium that also includes Portugal and Turkey.