NVIDIA and NSCC set up first shared AI platform for national initiatives in Singapore

“NVIDIA and Singapore’s National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) will jointly establish a platform to bolster artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities among academic, research and industry stakeholders. The move supports AI Singapore(AISG), a national programme set up in May 2017 to drive AI adoption, research and innovation in Singapore. 

The new [email protected] will provide AI training, technical expertise and computing services to AISG. In line with AISG’s broader aims to nurture a local community of doers and thinkers in AI, [email protected] is conceptualised as a “makerspace” environment. Using shared resources and intentionally-designed facilities, the ecosystem will maximise community interaction and collaboration, and encourage the adoption of intellectual property generated by AISG.

The platform is to be launched in early 2018 at NSCC’s Data Centre in Connexis Building, Fusionopolis. It will be equipped with six NVIDIA DGX-1 deep learning supercomputers for training and research into next-generation AI applications, allowing researchers to dramatically reduce the time to train larger, more sophisticated deep neural networks to meet the computing demands of AISG. In total the NSCC will have 48 NVIDIA Tesla V100 GPUs at its disposal, providing up to 99x more throughput than standard CPUs. The Tesla V100 is the world’s first GPU to break the 100 teraflops (TFLOPS) barrier for deep learning performance. A teraflop is a measure of computer performance and is used to describe the feat of calculating a trillion floating point operations (flops) per second.

“We are delighted to work with AISG to target high-performance AI users and promote a high rate of adoption in our communities including industry users. We will work closely with NVIDIA and tap its expertise to fully integrate the AI machines with our current petascale supercomputer, ASPIRE 1,” said Professor Tan Tin Wee, Director, NSCC. “Existing users of NSCC will have a seamless experience in analysing their huge datasets already in our multi-petabyte high-performance storage systems.” 

The agreement also covers the provision of intensive deep learning training for at least 400 persons through NVIDIA’s Deep Learning Institute (DLI). The planned workshops offer hands-on training for developers, data scientists and researchers looking to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems with deep learning. Through self-paced labs and instructor-led workshops, DLI provides training on the latest techniques for designing, training and deploying neural networks across a variety of application domains. Participants will explore widely used open-source frameworks as well as NVIDIA’s latest GPU-accelerated deep learning platforms. 

“A key feature of AISG is a series of grand challenges that will inspire both the research community and end users from industry to address major societal challenges that are not only relevant for Singapore but also the global community. Furthermore, AISG aims to deliver 100 meaningful AI projects and proofs of concept to solve real-world problems swiftly. As a complementary effort, the training of 400 AI researchers and developers will certainly expedite the realisation of AISG’s goals,” said Professor Ho Teck Hua, Executive Chairman, AISG, and Deputy President (Research & Technology) and Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor at NUS.


“NVIDIA is helping industries transform with deep learning using our GPU computing technologies. We are delighted to partner with NSCC to establish this shared facility to support AISG’s mission, giving them a powerful platform for their AI projects and innovations in areas such as intelligent video analytics, natural language processing, genomics and life sciences, and cybersecurity,” said Raymond Teh, VP, APAC, NVIDIA. 

The NSCC manages Singapore’s first national petascale facility with high performance computing (HPC) resources to support science and engineering computing needs for academic, research and industry communities. Funded by its stakeholders, including Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), National University of Singapore (NUS), and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), with substantial funding from the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), the NSCC aims to democratise access to supercomputing. 

AI Singapore (AISG) is a national programme launched by the National Research Foundation (NRF) to catalyse, synergise and boost Singapore’s artificial intelligence capabilities to power our future, digital economy. AISG is driven by a government-wide partnership comprising NRF, the Smart Nation and Digital Government Office (SNDGO), the Economic Development Board (EDB), the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), SGInnovate, and the Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS).”

(Source: 24 October 2017