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OCF helps to develop AI infrastructure at the University of Oxford

The University of Oxford has become the first academic institution in the UK to take delivery of an NVIDIA DGX-1 supercomputer powered by the latest GPU technology – NVIDIA Volta.

Picking up a Petaflop: (L-R) Dr. David Jenkins, Head of Research Computing and Support Services University of Oxford, Dr. Steven Young, ARC Technical Services Manager and Dr. Robert Esnouf, Director of Research Computing BDI & Head of Research Computing Core WHG

The new system has been supplied by OCF and funded via a collaboration between the University’s IT Services department, Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics (WHG), Big Data Institute (BDI) and the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM).

The system will be housed and managed by the University’s Advanced Research Computing (ARC) facility and is a response to the explosion in demand from researchers for exploring all avenues for applying deep learning to research. For the life sciences, current research includes more accurate sequencing, predicting gene expression levels, simulating brain activity, predicting outbreaks of diseases such as malaria and analysing population-scale data such as those from the UK Biobank study. In other disciplines it includes research into autonomous vehicles, natural language processing and computer vision.

“Oxford University is at the forefront of AI research in Europe, so it’s fitting this should be the first academic institution in the UK to receive a DGX-1 powered by our Volta architecture,” comments Stuart Wilson, Supercomputing & AI Director UK for NVIDIA. “The DGX-1 installation forms the centrepiece of the University’s shared AI infrastructure. It will be extremely exciting to see how students, researchers and developers at the University use this AI supercomputer to further their ground-breaking work.”

“OCF thrives on working with our customers to provide the latest technologies to enhance research,” comments Julian Fielden, OCF Managing Director. “We’re delighted to be bringing together researchers from across all divisions of the University of Oxford to enable them to carry out such exciting projects.”

OCF has been a business partner with NVIDIA for over a decade and recently achieved Elite Partner level status with NVIDIA for Accelerated Computing, becoming only the second business partner in northern Europe to achieve this level.

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