University of Florida to Deploy World-Class AI Supercomputer

By Tiffany Trader

July 21, 2020

The University of Florida announced it will stand up a state-of-the-art AI supercomputer, powered by the latest Nvidia technology, to tackle major challenges such as rising seas, aging populations, data security, personalized medicine, urban transportation and food insecurity. Unveiled today, the $70 million project is undergirded by a $50 million gift — $25 million from UF alumnus and Nvidia cofounder Chris Malachowsky and a matching $25 million donation from Nvidia, comprising hardware, software, training and services. With UF investing $20 million, the combined resources will go to building the fastest AI supercomputer in higher education, available not only for UF but for educational institutions across the state of Florida, including HBCUs.

Nvidia cofounder and fellow Chris Malachowsky speaking over a virtual connection at the announcement launch, held July 21, 2020

“I’ve reached a point in my life, both professionally and personally where I was ready to give back, and I focus those efforts on University of Florida,” said Malachowsky, who met his future wife at UF as an engineering student in the late 70s. “UF’s leadership has a bold vision for making artificial intelligence accessible across its campus. What really got Nvidia and me excited was partnering with UF to go broader still, and make AI available to K-12 students, state and community colleges, and businesses. This will help address underrepresented communities and sectors across the region where the technology will have a profound positive effect.”

Comprising 148 Nvidia DGX A100 systems, UF’s third-generation HiPerGator machine will be one of the top AI-focused supercomputers in the world. Like Nvidia’s in-house system Selene (ranked #7 on the Top500), the DGX SuperPOD installation is powered by Nvidia A100 Ampere GPUs, AMD Eypc Rome CPUs and 200 Gbps Mellanox networking technology.  With a total 1,120 A100 GPUs, the system touts a peak performance of 700 “AI petaflops” using half-precision tensor core math and Nvidia’s sparsity feature. In HPC terms, theoretical performance comes out to 10.9 traditional double-precision petaflops, or 21.8 double-precision tensor petaflops, leveraging Nvidia’s new FP64 tensor core format.

The system is on track to be delivered by the end of the year and to enter production at the start of 2021. Two nodes of the technology were installed last month and are being used as an on-ramp for UF faculty and technical staff.

The new computational resources will support AI training, inference, and data analytics at UF and across the state of Florida. In a media briefing, UF Provost Joe Glover said a significant number of faculty are already engaging with artificial intelligence applications, spanning autonomous vehicle design and development, new drug discovery and finance. The university is committed to hiring an additional 100 faculty members to focus on AI technology and domain applications.

With its enriched AI ecosystem, UF will be expanding its focus to moonshot projects, interdisciplinary or cross disciplinary grand challenges. One of these is the iCoast initiative, which addresses the problem of rising sea level in the state of Florida, which in addition to submerging land causes salt water to infiltrate the freshwater aquifer. The iCoast initiative seeks to generate simultaneous data streams from the coastline involving water temperature, chemistry, salinity, and biological life in an effort to understand what’s happening and to formulate strategies to address it.

Further, UF, a land grant university of 55,000 students, plans to integrate AI across the curriculum. The university has instituted a bachelor’s degree in data science, it’s creating a certificate in AI, and it has installed bootcamps in AI. It’s also exploring other means to infuse AI across the disciplines and across the curriculum. “We think it’s important to do this at scale because we know that it’s important to train the next generation of an AI enabled workforce,” said Glover. UF expects to matriculate 30,000 AI-capable graduates by 2030.

Plans are in the works to develop public-private partnerships that benefit Florida and the nation. “We’re going to be reaching out to all of the industries in Florida, and throughout the United States,” said Glover. “The College of Engineering has deep connections with many engineering companies in the region and across the United States, our College of Medicine similarly. I think each college has pretty deep connections with an industry. As the flagship land grant university in the state, we are really responsible for the agricultural enterprise in the state of Florida. And precision agriculture is an area that AI will have and is having a profound impact in. So so we fully expect that this initiative will have a great impact on all of those industries, and that they will quickly be knocking on our door and asking how they can partner with us in bringing the benefits of this new technology to their particular industry.”

As part of its mission to broaden access and inclusion to AI, UF has established a partnership with an inclusive engineering consortium, comprised of electrical and computer engineering departments from 15 historically black colleges and universities, as well as two Hispanic serving institutions, with the goal of providing access to AI training, expertise and computing resources. During today’s announcement, Damon Woodard, director of AI partnerships and a faculty member in the Department of Electrical Engineering, reported that these efforts together with partnerships with industry stakeholders, such as the one with Nvidia, are critical to the development of an AI enabled workforce. “We believe that the result of these partnerships will be a diverse AI enabled workforce, as well as technological advances that address problems statewide, nationally and globally,” said Woodard.

A newly formed Nvidia Deep Learning Institute will collaborate with UF on developing curriculum and coursework for both students and the community, including programming aimed at engaging young adults in STEM fields. As well, the university will host an Nvidia AI Technology Center, which brings UF graduate fellows and Nvidia employees together to work on AI projects.

The partners see the charity-based funding mechanism being a replicable model for training the next generation of the workforce to be versed in AI. “I think it’s an easy fundraising pitch, [and] I really do hope that this becomes a blueprint for other land grants and other universities around the country, other states, to take advantage of their schools and their alumni and their state and local governments to work cooperatively to help do something that benefits everybody,” said Malachowsky.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Research: A Survey of Numerical Methods Utilizing Mixed Precision Arithmetic

August 5, 2020

Within the past years, hardware vendors have started designing low precision special function units in response to the demand of the machine learning community and their demand for high compute power in low precision for Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt and Jack Dongarra

Implement Photonic Tensor Cores for Machine Learning?

August 5, 2020

Researchers from George Washington University have reported an approach for building photonic tensor cores that leverages phase change photonic memory to implement a neural network (NN). Their novel architecture, reporte Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Keeps Cray Brand Promise, Reveals HPE Cray Supercomputing Line

August 4, 2020

The HPC community, ever-affectionate toward Cray and its eponymous founder, can breathe a (virtual) sigh of relief. The Cray brand will live on, encompassing the pinnacle of HPE's HPC portfolio. After announcing its i Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Machines, Connections, Data, and Especially People: OAC Acting Director Amy Friedlander Charts Office’s Blueprint for Innovation

August 3, 2020

The path to innovation in cyberinfrastructure (CI) will require continued focus on building HPC systems and secure connections between them, in addition to the increasingly important goals of data best practices and work Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/XSEDE

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated, analysts said the acquisition would cement Nvidia’s stat Read more…

By George Leopold

AWS Solution Channel

AWS announces the release of AWS ParallelCluster 2.8.0

AWS ParallelCluster is a fully supported and maintained open source cluster management tool that makes it easy for scientists, researchers, and IT administrators to deploy and manage High Performance Computing (HPC) clusters in the AWS cloud. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

Summer Reading: Here’s a Quantum Advantage You Can Bet On!

August 3, 2020

While quantum computing researchers today vigorously chase a demonstration of a quantum advantage – an application which when run on a quantum computer provides sufficient advantage to warrant switching from a classica Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Keeps Cray Brand Promise, Reveals HPE Cray Supercomputing Line

August 4, 2020

The HPC community, ever-affectionate toward Cray and its eponymous founder, can breathe a (virtual) sigh of relief. The Cray brand will live on, encompassing th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Machines, Connections, Data, and Especially People: OAC Acting Director Amy Friedlander Charts Office’s Blueprint for Innovation

August 3, 2020

The path to innovation in cyberinfrastructure (CI) will require continued focus on building HPC systems and secure connections between them, in addition to the Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/XSEDE

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel’s 7nm Slip Raises Questions About Ponte Vecchio GPU, Aurora Supercomputer

July 30, 2020

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel announced a one-year delay of its 7nm process technology, which it says it will create an approximate six-month shift for its CPU product timing relative to prior expectations. The primary issue is a defect mode in the 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

PEARC20 Plenary Introduces Five Upcoming NSF-Funded HPC Systems

July 30, 2020

Five new HPC systems—three National Science Foundation-funded “Capacity” systems and two “Innovative Prototype/Testbed” systems—will be coming onlin Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/XSEDE

Nvidia Dominates Latest MLPerf Training Benchmark Results

July 29, 2020

MLPerf.org released its third round of training benchmark (v0.7) results today and Nvidia again dominated, claiming 16 new records. Meanwhile, Google provided e Read more…

By John Russell

$39 Billion Worldwide HPC Market Faces 3.7% COVID-related Drop in 2020

July 29, 2020

Global HPC market revenue reached $39 billion in 2019, growing a healthy 8.2 percent over 2018, according to the latest analysis from Intersect360 Research. A 3 Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Agenting Change: PEARC20 Keynote Encourages Cultural Change to Make Tech Better, More Diverse

July 29, 2020

The tech world will need to become more diverse if it is to thrive and survive, said Cherri Pancake, director of the Northwest Alliance for Computational Resear Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/XSEDE

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer-Powered Research Uncovers Signs of ‘Bradykinin Storm’ That May Explain COVID-19 Symptoms

July 28, 2020

Doctors and medical researchers have struggled to pinpoint – let alone explain – the deluge of symptoms induced by COVID-19 infections in patients, and what Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel’s 7nm Slip Raises Questions About Ponte Vecchio GPU, Aurora Supercomputer

July 30, 2020

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel announced a one-year delay of its 7nm process technology, which it says it will create an approximate six-month shift for its CPU product timing relative to prior expectations. The primary issue is a defect mode in the 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated Read more…

By George Leopold

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Honeywell’s Big Bet on Trapped Ion Quantum Computing

April 7, 2020

Honeywell doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of quantum computing pioneers, but a decade ago the high-tech conglomerate better known for its control systems waded deliberately into the then calmer quantum computing (QC) waters. Fast forward to March when Honeywell announced plans to introduce an ion trap-based quantum computer whose ‘performance’ would... Read more…

By John Russell

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Joliot-Curie Supercomputer Used to Build First Full, High-Fidelity Aircraft Engine Simulation

July 14, 2020

When industrial designers plan the design of a new element of a vehicle’s propulsion or exterior, they typically use fluid dynamics to optimize airflow and in Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

$100B Plan Submitted for Massive Remake and Expansion of NSF

May 27, 2020

Legislation to reshape, expand - and rename - the National Science Foundation has been submitted in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposal, which seems to Read more…

By John Russell

John Martinis Reportedly Leaves Google Quantum Effort

April 21, 2020

John Martinis, who led Google’s quantum computing effort since establishing its quantum hardware group in 2014, has left Google after being moved into an advi Read more…

By John Russell

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 “Accelerator Optimized” VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by the HGX A100 16-GPU platform, which combines two HGX A100 8-GPU baseboards using... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This