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4 Taiwanese teams granted free access to Nvidia supercomputer: Ministry

07/07/2024 06:30 PM
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CNA file photo for illustrative purpose only
CNA file photo for illustrative purpose only

Taipei, July 7 (CNA) The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said it recently approved four Taiwanese teams to receive free access to Taipei-1, a local supercomputer built by U.S.-based AI chip designer Nvidia Corp., to boost their research and development capabilities.

Taipei-1 is able to support the teams, the first batch of applicants for the government campaign, across a wide range of topics -- from large language model (LLM) training, chip design, smart healthcare, to autonomous driving -- the ministry said in a press release on June 25.

The teams, selected from nearly 30 companies, universities and research institutions in Taiwan, will each be able to use 25 percent of Taipei-1's computing power for six weeks between July 1-Sept. 30, 2024, according to the ministry.

This is the first time the government has secured AI computing power from a foreign company for Taiwan, said Chiou Chyou-huey (邱求慧), head of the MOEA's Department of Industrial Technology.

Such access is expected to last for two and a half years and is valued at approximately NT$400 million (US$12.3 million), Chiou said.

Taipei-1, which was launched in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung late last year and partly funded by the government to develop AI technologies and products, has 64 DGX H100 systems and 32 OVX computing platforms, according to the ministry.

Nvidia DGX is designed for deep learning and is ideal for LLM training, image recognition, and autonomous driving applications, while Nvidia OVX is particularly useful for smart manufacturing, urban planning and virtual reality applications.

According to the ministry, DGX will be accessible to two teams -- the Trustworthy AI Dialogue Engine (TAIDE), initiated by the Cabinet-level National Science and Technology Council, and the AI-on-Chip Taiwan Alliance (AITA).

Meanwhile, OVX will be available for the other teams, led by China Steel Corp. and the Industrial Technology Research Institute, respectively, said the MOEA.

(By Liu Chien-ling and Lee Hsin-Yin)

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