PM Boris Johnson set to unveil new supercomputer in Harlow in the new year

News / Sat 19th Dec 2020 at 08:13am

A DATA campus in Harlow has been chosen as the location for Britain’s most powerful supercomputer, The Times has learnt.

Nvidia, the American chip company, hopes to switch on its machine, Cambridge-1, before the end of the year. It will provide artificial intelligence to support medical research, including the development of vaccines.

Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock are expected to unveil the supercomputer, which will be located at the Kao Data campus in Harlow, in the new year.

Jensen Huang, 57, chief executive of Nvidia, announced plans for the machine in October and said that it would “serve as a hub of innovation for the UK and further the groundbreaking work being done by the nation’s researchers in critical healthcare and drug discovery”.

The supercomputer forms part of Nvidia’s commitment to invest in the UK as part of its planned $40 billion takeover of Arm, the British chip designer, which is based in Cambridge. The purchase of the company from Softbank, the Japanese technology investor, which was agreed in September, will be the biggest in the semiconductor industry.

Astrazeneca and Glaxosmithkline, which are both involved in coronavirus vaccine research, are due to be among the first pharmaceutical companies to harness the supercomputer.

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