Cork Institute of Technology unveils Dell supercomputer

15 Oct 2020

Image: Cork Institute of Technology

Researchers and postgraduate students at CIT can use the new supercomputer to build AI models and gain real-time insights into large datasets.

Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) has unveiled a new AI platform and supercomputer developed with the support of Dell Technologies.

CIT said that the AI platform could enable students and researchers to build technologies with the capacity to transform Ireland’s economy and society. Through its partnership with Dell Technologies, CIT aims to keep up to speed with ongoing advancements in AI, data analytics and machine learning.

By installing the new AI platform, which is powered by the supercomputer, researchers at CIT are now able to gain real-time insights into large datasets while accelerating cutting-edge projects in areas ranging from manufacturing and finance to marketing and agriculture.

‘A critical enabler’

The supercomputer will be used by researchers in CIT’s institute for advanced AI modelling. It will also be available to postgraduate students in the MSc in artificial intelligence.

Dr Ted Scully, programme coordinator for the CIT master’s in AI, said: “The provision of sufficient computing power is a critical enabler of modern AI. Students in the MSc in AI can leverage the new platform to build highly complex state-of-the-art AI models.”

CIT’s head of research, Dr Niall Smith, noted that launch of the supercomputer comes after the college secured €15.4m in funding in 2019.

“The provision of this key computing infrastructure enables CIT researchers, and our many academic and industry collaborators, to develop innovative solutions to problems in almost any domain including ICT, agritech, maritime and space,” Smith added.

“Taking advantage of the considerable expertise of the CIT research community in artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, our partners will be supported in their research and development, irrespective of their competency in high-performance computing.”

According to AI research lab OpenAI, the computational power needed to create the largest AI models doubled every 3.4 months between 2012 and 2018. The partnership between CIT and Dell Technologies aims to help solve challenges arising in the field by simplifying the development and production of AI models.

Jason Ward, vice-president and managing director of Dell Technologies Ireland, said: “Our teams have worked closely with the team at CIT to better understand their needs and put in place a high-performance computing solution that can drive more accurate research results and prepare for our AI-enabled future.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the new innovations unleashed by the new AI platform over the coming years.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic