Last year, Microsoft announced a major partnership with OpenAI including an investment of $1 billion. OpenAI and Microsoft’s plan was to build a computational platform in Azure that can train and run advanced AI models. The improvements Microsoft will make to Azure to build supercomputing technologies will also be made available to regular AI developers. At Build 2020 event, Microsoft announced the result of this partnership. Microsoft has built a new supercomputer on Azure in collaboration with and exclusively for OpenAI.
The new supercomputer developed for OpenAI includes more than 285,000 CPU cores, 10,000 GPUs and 400 gigabits per second of network connectivity for each GPU server. As per the TOP500 supercomputers in the world, this new supercomputer built by Microsoft ranks in the top five.
“As we’ve learned more and more about what we need and the different limits of all the components that make up a supercomputer, we were really able to say, ‘If we could design our dream system, what would it look like?’” said OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. “And then Microsoft was able to build it.” OpenAI’s goal is not just to pursue research breakthroughs but also to engineer and develop powerful AI technologies that other people can use, Altman said.
“By developing this leading-edge infrastructure for training large AI models, we’re making all of Azure better,” Kevin Scott, Microsoft CTO, said. “We’re building better computers, better distributed systems, better networks, better datacenters. All of this makes the performance and cost and flexibility of the entire Azure cloud better.”