Fujitsu works with NVIDIA to power startups and students developing advanced AI

Paris, 04 Oct 2018
Read time 3min 50sec

News facts:
* Joint initiative provides the high-performance computing power needed by startups and students to develop successful advanced AI projects.
* Drahi X-Novation Center, incubator for the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique in Paris-Saclay and location of Fujitsu's AI Center of Excellence, hosts the Fujitsu and NVIDIA GPU Cluster.
* Collaboration reinforces Fujitsu's commitment to innovation and the development of a strong AI ecosystem within Fujitsu's Zinrai framework of AI capabilities.

Fujitsu today announced it is collaborating with NVIDIA to provide start-ups and students with the computing power required to develop successful advanced artificial intelligence (AI) projects.

The use of high-performance computing (HPC) platforms has been instrumental in accelerating deep learning, which is a vital part of any AI, but can require specialised computing facilities.

To address this potential bottleneck, the companies are introducing a joint initiative, the Fujitsu and NVIDIA GPU Cluster. Part of Fujitsu's Zinrai initiative1, a collective framework of AI capabilities that are available to Fujitsu customers, the cluster makes HPC capabilities more easily available to start-ups, based on the power of Fujitsu's PRIMERGY server infrastructure and NVIDIA GPUs.

The Fujitsu and NVIDIA GPU Cluster will be based at the Drahi X-Novation Center, the incubator of the prestigious Ecole Polytechnique in Paris-Saclay, which also hosts Fujitsu's AI Center of Excellence (COE)1. Intended to help underpin the development of a strong AI ecosystem in Europe, the GPU cluster offers a breakthrough opportunity for new start-ups or students in educational institutions.

The cluster is based on NVIDIA Tesla V100 Tensor Core GPUs and Fujitsu PRIMERGY servers. Together, these provide the powerful computing capabilities needed to develop deep learning projects. The relevant compute capacity will be distributed based on the needs of individual AI projects being developed by start-ups, by Polytechnique students and by the Fujitsu AI COE.

Axel Mery, CTO Fujitsu France and Head of Fujitsu's AI Center of Excellence, says: "Deep learning at the heart of AI requires much more powerful compute resources than conventional computational power and limited access to these resources can be a brake on innovation. As part of our EUR 50 million investment over five years to support digital innovation in France, we are now making these often unattainable computational resources available to our most innovative developers at exactly the time they need them most, regardless of their stage of funding. Through this initiative in Paris, as well as Fujitsu's ongoing investment in its Zinrai2 AI offering, we see huge potential to develop new technologies and human-centric AI solutions."

Serge Palaric, vice-president of Business Development Enterprise for South Europe & Embedded EMEA at NVIDIA, comments: "Through this initiative, students and startups can gain access to GPU clusters that accelerate the critical deep learning stage for any AI. Our work with Fujitsu and Ecole Polytechnique is another pillar in our support for the research, education and innovation ecosystem enabling the brightest minds in tech."

1 The Fujitsu AI brand Zinrai brings together diverse AI techniques and development threads. Zinrai AI provides a human-centric approach to the co-creation of services and solutions. It utilises 'best of breed' global technologies that have been developed and deployed to meet ever-growing customer challenges. By combining the strength of Zinrai AI development with carefully selected partner capabilities, we are able to deliver optimal AI supported solutions that overcome the challenges our customers face.

2 Fujitsu's AI COE was opened in September 2017 at the Drahi X-Novation Center in Paris-Saclay, the incubator of the Ecole Polytechnique, building on a partnership established in 2016. Fujitsu and Inria, a French national research institute dedicated to digital technology, have established a long-term research and a co-creation programme at Paris-Saclay to develop new AI and machine learning techniques by leveraging advanced mathematics and computing. The Fujitsu AI COE also promotes academic partnerships, initiating talent exchanges within Fujitsu's capabilities in Europe and in Japan and high-ranked institutions such as Ecole Polytechnique and Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.

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