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UF, NVIDIA partner to build fastest AI supercomputer in academia

700 petaflops of computing power.

The University of Florida and NVIDIA are partnering up to build the fastest AI supercomputer in higher education.

The state’s flagship university is making a $20 million investment in the venture. A combined $50 million will come from NVIDIA, a Silicon Valley-based tech company, and UF alumnus Chris Malachowsky, by way of hardware, software, training and services.

“This incredible gift from Chris and NVIDIA will propel the state of Florida to new heights as it strives to be an economic powerhouse, an unrivaled leader in job creation and an international model of 21st-century know-how,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

“Over the coming years, tens of thousands of University of Florida graduates with this unique AI-oriented background will create their futures and ours, transforming our workforce and virtually every field and every industry here in Florida and around the world.”

The partnership will see UF turbocharge the capabilities of its existing supercomputer, HiPerGator, with NVIDIA’s recently announced NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD architecture. When complete, the machine will have 140 NVIDIA DGX™ A100 systems — the first ones delivered to a higher learning institution — with 1,120 NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs and high-performance NVIDIA Mellanox HDR 200Gb/s InfiniBand networking under the hood.

The hardware will produce an estimated 700 petaflops of computing power of AI performance.

“More than ever before in my lifetime, people around the country and the globe are looking to universities to expand access to higher education and technology and to level the field of opportunity for all,” UF President Kent Fuchs said. “UF intends to meet that challenge, and this partnership will help us do it.”

UF says the HiPerGator will empower faculty and students with the tools to apply AI across a multitude of areas to improve lives, bolster industry, and create economic growth across the state. UF also envisions using the computer to tackle sea-level rise, aging populations, data security, personalized medicine, urban transportation and food insecurity.

“UF’s leadership has a bold vision for making artificial intelligence accessible across its campus,” said Malachowsky, who serves as an NVIDIA Fellow. “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.”

NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang added, “Artificial intelligence is the most powerful technology force of our time. Fueled by data and machine learning, AI is advancing at an exponential pace, impacting every industry from healthcare to transportation to the sciences. Through their generosity and vision, Chris and UF are providing a mighty foundation for students and faculty to harness this technology and drive discovery.”

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