Nvidia Deepens Ties to German AI Research Organization, DFKI

By Staff report

April 9, 2020

After designating the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as a GPU Research Center in 2016, Nvidia has now joined DFKI as a shareholder both organizations announced yesterday. DFKI was one of the first two European institutions to be included in the Nvidia AI Lab Program (NVAIL) and in 2018 a team from DFKI’s Deep Learning Competence Center received the Nvidia Pioneer Award for its work on neural network processing.

“The partnership between DFKI and Nvidia combines our sophisticated models and procedures with their high-performance platforms designed specifically for AI,” said Andreas Dengel, site head of DFKI Kaiserslautern and scientific director for the research department of smart data and knowledge services, in the official announcement. “Joining as a shareholder is a further building block of our successful cooperation and opens up new perspectives for application-oriented neural network research.”

“Nvidia and DFKI are working together to provide powerful tools so that scientists can solve the most complex AI challenges,” said Ian Buck, vice president and general manager of Accelerated Computing at Nvidia. “As a DFKI shareholder, we’ll continue to jointly explore new areas of research that can benefit from accelerated computing.”

One goal of the collaboration, said Dengel, is development of “an ‘AI Model Store’ where various machine learning methods are offered. A fully automated architecture search will provide the appropriate models. Companies can select the one that best fits their problem, apply their data to the pre-trained methods, and receive feedback in real time.”

DFKI is part of a group making a proposal for a German national supercomputing center focused on AI. A decision is expected later this year on the center, expected to have a budget of up to $16 million a year. The effort comes amid a pan-European drive to beef up AI research. In mid-March, the European Commission granted a new AI research alliance about $54 million.

The Nvidia blog on the expanding collaboration, written by Stefan Kraemer, noted:

“DFKI computer rooms pack an estimated 17 petaflops of GPU computing power with multiple Nvidia DGX systems. They include what was the first DGX-2 in Europe, all linked on Mellanox InfiniBand switches. It’s a lot of horsepower, but not enough to meet rising demands. The group spun up a climate modeling application two months ago, satellites are “growing exponentially” for imaging applications. And DFKI has a new collaboration with the European Space Agency that will spawn multiple projects.”

“We are at the limit of our systems’ use. Our goal is to expand in a big way. We want to provide infrastructure that’s a platform for both the German and the broader European industry,” said Dengel.”

Presumably the deeper collaboration will include infusion of new Nvidia expertise and resources.

Link to DFKI announcement: https://www.dfki.de/en/web/news/detail/News/nvidia-shareholder-dfki/

Link to Nvidia blog: https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2020/04/08/ai-dfki-partnership/?preview_id=45251

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