Cloud: Scaleway wants to become a European AI champion

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Cloud: Scaleway wants to become a European AI champion

Xavier Niel has a sense of the formula. 25 years after the internet revolution, the founder of the iliad group (Free) intends to attack the artificial intelligence revolution with the same pioneering mindset that made his success in telecommunications. « You are starting to get to know us: when we enter the game, it is not to watch the match take place without us. »

The telecom tycoon has set itself the goal of making its cloud subsidiary, Scaleway, a European champion of AI. The massive investment is up to the ambition. Still in the superlatives, the iliad group has acquired “the largest AI cloud computing power deployed to date in Europe”.

This is, in this case, Nvidia’s DGX SuperPOD, a high-performance computing platform dedicated to AI applications. It includes 127 DGX H100 systems that each integrate eight NVIDIA H100 Tensor Core GPUs, a total of 1016 latest generation graphics chips dedicated to advanced generative AI models.

« The DGX SuperPOD supercomputer makes it possible to train large language models up to four times faster than computers using earlier versions of GPUs “, iliad advances. A firepower that Scaleway has added to its catalog from now on.

To accelerate the development and deployment of AI and data science models, enterprise customers will be able to rely on the range of dedicated Nvidia tools such as Nvidia AI Enterprise software, including more than a hundred AI models already trained. For the training of smaller and targeted models, Scaleway offers a lower computing power, composed of two interconnected DGX H100 systems.

Objective: to manage the entire life cycle of an AI project

Scaleway’s collaboration with the American foundry Nvidia represents only “ the first step in creating a complete ecosystem of hardware and software solutions dedicated to AI and big data ». Ultimately, the cloud provider intends to cover the entire life cycle of an AI project, from data storage to data training, including their security. Objective: to become the leading European provider of cloud services dedicated to the development of AI.

To distinguish itself from the American hyperscalers – Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud – which all offer generative AI solutions “as a service”, Scaleway plays the sovereignty card. NVIDIA’s DGX systems will be installed at DC5, a data center located in the Paris region and operated by OpCore, iliad’s data center subsidiary.

Sovereignty that is combined with sobriety. Not using air conditioning, this data center saves, according to iliad, 30 to 40% of electricity compared to a traditional center, while consuming 9 to 10 times less water than systems with open cooling towers. The selected system, called adiabatic, is based on ” the principle of evaporation of a very small amount of water when the outside temperature requires it. »

A laboratory to democratize the uses of AI

The second part of iliad’s AI strategy: the creation of a research laboratory of excellence in artificial intelligence in Paris. Endowed with more than 100 million euros and chaired by Xavier Niel, it includes a team of researchers, internationally recognized for their expertise in the field.

The main mission of this laboratory will be to democratize AI by making the products of its research public. An entire ecosystem – public and private organizations, companies and non–profit institutions – must thus benefit from advances in the development and optimization of AI models.

The transparency of its research must also improve the understanding of AI technologies, especially among the general public. The laboratory must, moreover, train a new generation of researchers, by welcoming thesis students.

Finally, Scaleway will launch, on November 17 at Station F (Paris), the first edition of a European conference on AI. This event, which intends to become a reference, aims to decipher the latest AI models, their impacts on the business world and to anticipate the next trends.

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