As artificial intelligence becomes more common in industrial applications and everyday life, it could provide momentum to the tech industry in Taiwan just as PCs did in the past.
That’s the prediction Taiwan’s Minister of Science and Technology Chen Liang-gee made when signing the contract to build a national artificial intelligence cloud-computing platform that will pack seven petaflops of computing power with a storage capacity of 50 petabytes.
The National Center for High Performance Computing (NCHC) is at the center of these efforts. At OpenInfra Days Taiwan, the team shared their progress building the HPC datacenter for AI workloads. It’s one of the most exciting projects happening for OpenStack and open infrastructure in Taiwan and across Asia.
Organizing committee chairman Brian Chen agreed that AI and IoT are the big trends in Taiwan. The vast majority of the technology industry in Taiwan are hardware companies and the new computing intensive workloads that require GPUs and specialized hardware are a strong fit for the local industry.
The NCHC is a government-funded project that serves more than 150 universities across Taiwan with one of the largest AI environments, running 2,000 nodes with the latest Nvidia GPUs. The organization’s goals are to accelerate AI technology development and cultivate tech talent in Taiwan.
The NCHC project is a unique collaboration among vendors in the open infrastructure ecosystem, including Gemini Open Cloud, SUSE and QCT. The data center is being constructed this year; the first workloads are expected to come online early in 2019.
Chen said the OpenInfra Days branding helped them bring new organizations and participants to the event who are working on a wider range of open infrastructure technologies. One example was Xu Wang from Hyper.sh who gave a keynote on Kata Containers, a new secure containers project that had its first release in May.
— gnawux (@gnawux) August 7, 2018
Hung-Ming Chen, professor of computer science and information engineering at the National Taichung University of Science and Technology brought 12 students on a high speed train to attend the event. They operate a 100-square meter data center on campus powered by OpenStack. He’s brought a group of students to the event four years in a row and many of his students have now started working in the OpenStack ecosystem.