Lumai attends SC23 to discuss future of high-performance compute and AI

Along with other innovators in high-performance compute and AI, Lumai was at SC23, the high-performance compute conference, held in Denver, Colorado.

The conference brings together users of high-performance compute (HPC) and those that provide the hardware, facilities, software and tools. Both groups are doing phenomenal work – the amazing amount of compute power that is now available is being put to good use. This includes solving healthcare challenges, predicting climate affects, and improving earthquake monitoring.

So, a case of job done? Well, not quite.

As always, there is demand for even more performance – both general compute (delivered by CPUs) as well as specialised processing for AI performance. There is an excitement about what will be possible from AI in the future, and it is recognised that machine learning can lead to faster and more accurate outcomes – Google Deepmind’s recent news that its AI model has been shown to be more accurate than traditional medium-range forecasts is a good example.

The environmental challenge of providing this high-performance is widely recognised and there is a great emphasis to try to solve the significant impact. Operators are placing environmental impact at the heart of their purchasing criteria. Critical factors include energy, carbon and water. Solutions being looked at include locating datacentres closer to renewable sources of energy and/or next to places that can use the heat generated (e.g. greenhouses) and of course moving away from evaporative cooling. However, it is recognised that a lot more needs to be done to stop using so much energy and producing so much heat.

What was very clear from the conference is that there is a desire to find new ways to undertake the high-performance processing needed for both traditional HPC and AI – and therefore excitement of what Lumai’s innovative optical AI inference solution can bring. We are already looking forward to SC24 in Atlanta!

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