Lomonosov Moscow State University (MSU) has launched its new supercomputer named MSU-270 with a peak computational power of 400 'AI' PetaFLOPS. This machine will be used for various artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) applications and for training large AI models. The MSU-270 is based on the 'latest graphics accelerators,' though MSU decided not to mention where they come from.
"We have initiated the launch of this project," said Viktor Sadovnichy, the head of MSU while presenting the project at the Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics. "We believe that from this moment on, the MSU-270 supercomputer is operational.
MSU's MSU-270 supercomputer is said to be based on around 100 of the 'latest graphics accelerators' and new systems for energy supply, cooling, and communication. The machine's development aligns with MSU's long-term plan, which aims for various advancements by 2030. Since Russia is not exactly known for GPUs, it is more than likely that the machine uses compute GPUs from companies like AMD, Biren Technology, Intel, or Nvidia. Meanwhile, neither AMD nor Nvidia can ship their highest-performing GPUs to Russia and China under the latest U.S. export rules. Previously, all MSU's supercomputers used Nvidia's hardware.
While 400 PetaFLOPS is a formidable performance, it should be noted that these are the so-called 'AI' PetaFLOPS, which possibly means FP16 data format. Russia's highest-performing supercomputer has an Rmax performance of around 21.5 FP64 PetaFLOPS and an Rpeak performance of approximately 29.5 FP 64 PetaFLOPs. Unfortunately, MSU does not disclose the FP64 performance of its MSU-270 machine (though it will be orders of magnitude lower than 400 PetaFLOPS), but it could probably be the country's fastest machine.
The supercomputer will be used to develop new tools based on artificial intelligence, including algorithms for extensive data analysis and methods for AI service protection. Beyond AI, the system will support research in various fields, such as physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, sociology, geology, and medicine. In addition to research, the MSU-270 will play a crucial role in the education and training of AI specialists.
"Our faculty has been running an academic program for training specialists in the field of AI for the second year — one of the best in the world," said Igor Sokolov, the Dean of the Faculty of Computational Mathematics and Cybernetics."We have analyzed everything that exists in the world in this area. The guys receive fundamental knowledge that will help them develop these tools. [...] This computer will be used to intensify and expand the training of specialists. This is our main task — personnel training."
The MSU-270 will be integrated into Russia's general network of scientific supercomputing centers, expanding its utility beyond MSU.