Microsoft & OpenAI Plan $100B Supercomputer

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OpenAI and Microsoft are planning a supercomputer to be ready by 2028 that could cost around $100 billion as per current estimates (likely to go up) and run on nuclear power.

AI companies need vast data centers to run and train their models. A typical data center costs $1 billion to build. Microsoft is likely to finance a supercomputer (to act as a data center) that could be 100 times more expensive. This AI supercomputer is being dubbed Stargate and will reportedly launch in 2028. The news was first reported by The Information (paywalled – link).

It’s even said that Microsoft might need to look at alternative power sources for such a monstrosity of a machine – possibly nuclear power! The estimates are all based on the rough wording that Stargate is going to be approximately 100 times more expensive than a typical supercomputer. All calculations are based on that alone. It’s very safe to assume that the cost will go up as the development progresses and the cost of servers, buildings, employees, and other equipment increases year after year. In 5-6 years, the same project might end up eating way more money.

The development of Stargate is to progress in a phased manner. The companies are working on different stages right now. The final stage will be the actual Stargate and that will take some time to finish.

As a very smart company dipping its toes into the world of generative AI, Microsoft has its risk somewhat averted by its different investments into things like OpenAI’s GPT-4 enterprise version, development on its own Copilot app that will ship with every Windows PC, and even investments like the $16 million injection into Mistral AI.

The actual capabilities and specs of Stargate will become clearer in the coming months and years. So far, Microsoft is being a little tight-lipped about it all.

By Abhimanyu

Unwrapping the fast-evolving AI popular culture.