Microsoft says it teamed up with OpenAI to build a massive AI supercomputer in Azure

At its Build developer conference, Microsoft today announced that it has teamed up with OpenAI, the startup trying to build a general artificial intelligence with — among other things — a $1 billion investment from Microsoft, to create one of the world’s fastest supercomputers on top of Azure’s infrastructure. Microsoft says that the 285,000-core machine would have ranked in the top five of the TOP500 supercomputer rankings.
Since Microsoft doesn’t actually tell us much more than that, except for a few more specs that say it had 10,000 GPUs and 400 gigabits per second of network connectivity per server, we’ll just have to take Microsoft’s and OpenAI’s word for this.
To be in the top five of supercomputers, a machine would currently have to reach more than 23,000 teraflops per second. It’s also worth noting that the #1 machine, the IBM Power System-based Summit, reaches over 148,000 teraflops, so there is quite a wide margin here. Despite writing a four-page press release about its AI initiatives, Microsoft didn’t share any actual performance numbers.
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