Edinburgh Chosen as Site for UK's Cutting-Edge Supercomputer Advancing AI Research
The United Kingdom has chosen Edinburgh as the location for its first exaflop supercomputer, which will surpass the country's most powerful system by 50 times in terms of computing speed. This computing center will be situated at the University of Edinburgh and will be based on the technologies and expertise gained during the development of the AIRR (Isambard-AI) supercomputer in Bristol, as reported by The Next Web.
Funding for the construction of the new supercomputer in Edinburgh is provided by the UK government with the aim of providing researchers access to an exceptionally powerful and versatile computing resource. This resource will be used to support research in the field of artificial intelligence, the development of new pharmaceuticals, and the production of clean, low-carbon energy.
"If we want the United Kingdom to remain a global leader in scientific discoveries and technological innovations, we need to provide the systems that make these breakthroughs possible," said Michelle Donelan, the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology.
An exaflop supercomputer is a highly productive computing system capable of performing billions of billions of floating-point operations per second. This capability can significantly contribute to solving problems in critical areas such as nuclear fusion energy, materials science, medical research, climate change, and astrophysics.
Currently, there is only one exaflop supercomputer in the world, Frontier, located in Tennessee, USA. However, it will be surpassed by the 2-exaflop El Capitan supercomputer in California by 2024.
In the United Kingdom, the most powerful computer system is currently ARCHER2, also located in Edinburgh, with a peak performance of 28 petaflops, which doesn't even rank it in the top 10 globally.
"We have already seen the vital work that ARCHER2 does in Edinburgh, so the new supercomputer will enable Scotland to remain at the forefront of science and innovation," said the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack.
He also added that in addition to supporting researchers in AI security work, the new project will create highly skilled jobs and contribute to the economic growth of the region.