Irish AI research centre gets €247,000 for new supercomputer

11 Jun 2020

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Ireland’s applied AI research centre, CeADAR, has secured €247,000 in funding for a new supercomputer named Leon.

Companies in Ireland are set to gain access to a new supercomputer at CeADAR, Ireland’s applied AI research centre. With €247,000 in funding under Enterprise Ireland’s Capital Funding Programme, the centre will receive a new supercomputer, called Leon.

Provided by Dell, the supercomputer comes with a few nodes, each of them equipped with two Intel Xeon Gold 6248 processors at 2.5GHz (up to 3.9Hz) with 20 cores, 768GB of RDIMM at 2,933 mega-transfers per second, and four Nvidia GPU Tesla V100 SXM2 with 32GB.

It is intended to provide industry in Ireland with access to critical, leading-edge infrastructure coupled with CeADAR’s work in analytics and AI. The supercomputer will also be made available to start-ups and will help in the creation of new spin-out companies.

CeADAR was one of 37 successful applicants to the Capital Funding Programme, which is worth a total of €6m. The programme’s goal is to provide industry with access to the latest equipment and infrastructure, allowing companies to remain globally competitive, particularly with challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘A powerful data science computer platform’

“This new high-performance computer will find application across every industry sector and will be used by the widest possible number of companies,” said CeADAR director Edward McDonnell.

“The computing platform should be seen as an enabling technology in conjunction with the expertise in the centre in applying cutting-edge AI and analytics methodologies to solve real-world challenges and develop new businesses.”

CeADAR’s head of innovation and development, Ricardo Simon Carbajo, added: “CeADAR, as the designated digital innovation hub in Ireland for AI, now has the capability to provide a powerful data science computer platform as a shared resource to our industry members and for collaborative projects at national and European level.”

Last Novembers’s Top500 supercomputer list contained a record 14 Irish machines, putting Ireland in seventh place worldwide.

Updated 3.34pm, 11 June 2020: This article was amended to reflect the correct specifications for the supercomputer. 

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic