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Russia’s latest Zhores supercomputer is the country’s first to be devoted to “solving problems in the field of artificial intelligence”. It is designed to tackle challenges in “a wide range of interdisciplinary tasks at the interface of machine learning, data science and mathematical modeling in biomedicine, image processing, development and search for new drugs, photonics, predictive maintenance, and development of new x-ray and gamma radiation sources.” All this may give the new supercomputer a prominent place in the country’s ever-more-coordinated attempts to advance AI research.
Like some other Russian defense and dual-use projects, this computer is built on Western technology, according to defenseone.com. “The system incorporates 26 nodes with the most powerful graphics accelerators with tensor cores today — each has four NVIDIA Tesla V100 cards,” tass.com reported.
The supercomputer’s development began in 2017 at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, a private institute founded in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
It has reached computing speeds of about one petaflop, making it Russia’s sixth-fastest supercomputer (the country’s fastest supercomputer is about 50 times more powerful — and it’s ranked just 77th in the world.)
Several supercomputers in Russia fulfill various roles, including military. One of them is the NDMC supercomputer, with a speed of 16 petaflops, designed to predict the development of armed conflicts and analyze the situation basing on past military conflicts.