NSF Funds AI Supercomputer at PSC

A USD 5 million National Science Foundation (NSF) award will allow the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) to deploy a unique high-performance artificial intelligence (AI) system, the company said.

Neocortex will introduce fundamentally new hardware to greatly speed AI research. PSC, a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh, will build the new supercomputer in partnership with Cerebras Systems and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

Neocortex will go beyond the technologies that have powered much of the advancement in AI since 2012. The system will do this by exploring a revolutionary combination of Cerebras Wafer Scale Engine (WSE) processors, which are designed specifically to accelerate AI, and an extremely large-memory HPE Superdome Flex system for massive data handling capability. This balanced system will democratize access for researchers nationwide to game-changing compute power for training, the most time-consuming step of AI, to be much faster, even interactive. Neocortex is planned to be available at no cost to researchers nationwide starting later in 2020.

Neocortex will support the most popular deep learning frameworks and automatically and transparently accelerate them, providing researchers with great ease of use. It will be federated with PSC´s new Bridges-2 supercomputer, also to be installed in 2020, to form a singularly powerful and flexible ecosystem for high performance AI, data analytics, modeling and simulation.