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Isambard-AI: Introducing the UK’s fastest supercomputer

29 May 2024

“Assuming there are eight billion people on earth, and everyone performed one calculation per second, it would take 2.3 years for all eight billion people, working 24/7, 365 days a year, to do what Isambard-AI phase one could do in one second,” said Professor Simon McIntosh-Smith, Director of the Bristol Centre for Supercomputing at the University of Bristol.

Sophia Bell, Group Editor
Sophia Bell, Group Editor

Welcome to a new age of computing. Last month not only brought with it a friendly reminder that the sun does, in fact, still exist (better late than never), but also the exciting news that Isambard-AI, the most powerful supercomputer in the UK, has officially gone live.

Housed at the University of Bristol’s National Composites Centre (NCC), Isambard-AI is 10 times more powerful than the UK’s next fastest system and capable of reaching up to 200 quadrillion calculations per second. It is also the most sustainable. In fact, it is currently the world’s second greenest supercomputer, according to the latest ISC’s Green500 rankings.

Scientists will soon be able to use the new facility for research that, until now, has not been possible in the UK. The AI Safety Institute is expected to be amongst the first to harness its capabilities for AI research. 

Supercomputing has huge potential to transform our scientific understanding. 


Read the full article in DPA's June 2024 issue



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