Artificial Intelligence: NVIDIA To Build AI Supercomputer For Healthcare

October 6, 2020 | Artificial Intelligence, News

It will be the UK’s most powerful supercomputer and target AI-powered drug discovery including for COVID-19.

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA), the US tech giant that specializes in GPUs for computer gaming and artificial intelligence and has a market capitalization of $337 billion, is building the U.K.’s most powerful supercomputer. According to a Reuters report, the machine will power AI for the solution of problems in drug discovery and other medical challenges such as COVID-19.


The NVIDIA supercomputer, an NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD system, is named “Cambridge-1.”  It is capable of a performance of 400 petaflops. That is equivalent to 400 quadrillion floating-point calculations per second.

According to an NVIDIA release, the machine would rank No. 29 on the latest TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. It will also rank among the world’s top 3 most energy-efficient supercomputers on the current Green500 list.

The machine will be used for joint industry research in healthcare tackling “large-scale healthcare and data-science” problems. It will also be used to nurture AI startups and to support university researchers in their hunt for medical cures.

Under these objectives, the first users of the supercomputer shall be GSK (NYSE: GSK) and AstraZeneca (LON: AZN) (both currently working on COVID-19), researchers from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London, and Oxford Nanopore Technologies

A powerful resource for AI

“Tackling the world’s most pressing challenges in healthcare requires massively powerful computing resources to harness the capabilities of AI,” said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “The Cambridge-1 supercomputer will serve as a hub of innovation for the U.K., and further the groundbreaking work being done by the nation’s researchers in critical healthcare and drug discovery.”

NVIDIA is investing £40 million ($51.7 million) in the supercomputer.

Cambridge-1 will be powered by 80 NVIDIA DGX A100™ systems connected by NVIDIA Mellanox® InfiniBand networking. Because of its modular architecture, the system could be up and running in a few weeks.

It is expected to be operational by end-2020.

Related Story: Microsoft’s Massive New Supercomputer for AI

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