November 16, 2020 - NVIDIA has announced its new deployment in Southeast Asia of NVIDIA DGX POD AI accelerated computing infrastructure to drive artificial intelligence (AI) research at CMKL University in Thailand. The array will be the central computing node that links to research and university nodes across the country.
Established between Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and King’s Mongkut’s Institute of Technology Ladkrabang, CMKL university provides cutting-edge engineering research and education in Southeast Asia. CMKL makes technologies accessible to society and creates innovations that are beneficial to Thailand and Southeast Asia by bridging world-class partnerships with local context. By applying CMU’s globally acclaimed research and education programs within a regional context, it will help tackle challenges that will drive future development of Thailand and the region
CMKL is setting up the AI computing cluster in order to provide capabilities for data exchange as part of Thailand’s AI research infrastructure. Moreover, the cluster also provides an AI analytics platform to support competency building in the new normal economy. The process will help improve and generate research in various domains such as food and agriculture, healthcare and smart city.
“The platform that we are developing will allow researchers to store and manage their datasets with ease. They will be able to exchange their data with other researchers, and utilise the cloud HPC infrastructure to run machine learning codes and models at lightning speeds,” said Akkarit Sangpetch, CMKM Program Director (Thailand), CMKL University.
Powering AI research projects
Modelled after NVIDIA DGX POD design, CMKL University’s new infrastructure consists of six NVIDIA DGX A100 AI systems delivering 30 petaflops of AI processing power, NVIDIA Cumulus networking software, NVIDIA Mellanox Spectrum 100GbE and Quantum 200Gbps InfiniBand smart switches that interconnect the processing nodes, and 2.5 petabytes of DataDirect Networks (DDN) storage.
When operational in mid November, the NVIDIA DGX POD will run PyTorch for image processing, Kaldi for voice recognition, and NVIDIA Metropolis with the DeepStream SDK for smart city video analytics.
The system will deliver up to a 20x performance boost, which is greatly beneficial for AI projects such as automated speech recognition research that needs to collect and process 1,000 hours of voice input, and a bottle recycling model that contains 600,000 high-resolution images.
“This platform will accelerate AI work in various research and development fields to create substantial positive impacts on society. Examples are an increase in quality of life in cities through better management and logistics; better optimization of circular infrastructure, consumer insights, and biomedical research; and an increase in the quality and quantity of crop yields countrywide,” said Sangpetch.
Backing the project is Thailand’s Office of National Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Policy Council (NXPO), an autonomous public agency affiliated to the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation.
“As NXPO is committed to increasing Thailand’s growth, level of competitiveness, and enhance its socio-economic sustainability through technology and innovation strategic plan. We are pleased to have PMU-C (Program Management Unit for Thailand’s Competitiveness) involved in providing the funding and support for this world-class research and initiative. Together with CMKL University and the new AI Infrastructure, the office looks forward to developing resilient economies in the age of AI,” said NXPO.
CMKL, which is currently running inference at the edge, is exploring using the NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier and NVIDIA Jetson Nano. It is also considering an extended cloud-edge processing model to utilise the inference capabilities both from the cluster as well as edge devices.
“NVIDIA DGX POD delivers groundbreaking performance that is designed to accelerate diverse AI training, inference and data science workloads. It will help accelerate CMKL University’s research to develop solutions that will benefit not just Thailand but also Southeast Asia and the world,” said Dennis Ang, Director, Enterprise Business, SEA and ANZ Region at NVIDIA.
NVIDIA is an AI computing company. Its invention of the GPU in 1999 sparked the growth of the PC gaming market, redefined modern computer graphics and revolutionised parallel computing. More recently, GPU deep learning ignited modern AI – the next era of computing – with the GPU acting as the brain of computers, robots and self-driving cars that can perceive and understand the world.
More information at http://nvidianews.nvidia.com/.