UK's first green data centre for AI launches in Cornwall

Goonhilly Earth Station to deploy a liquid immersion cooling system to support HPC

A satellite station has opened the UK's first green high-performance computing platform for artificial intelligence and machine learning on demand.

The Cornwall-based Goonhilly Earth Station is one of the first organisations in the UK to deploy a liquid immersion cooling system to mitigate the power demands of high-performance computing.

Its green infrastructure consists of an onsite array of solar panels that can support the data centre's full power requirements of 500KW, with local wind power to be added in the near future, according to the company. The system has been designed to particularly target the data-intensive needs of the automotive, life sciences and aerospace marketplaces.

"There are people working on some clever algorithms to save our planet from climate change," said Chris Roberts, head of data centre and cloud at Goonhilly. "The irony is that these models require heavy processing power.

"Fortunately, new technology is helping, such as immersion cooling which is 45-50% more efficient than air cooling, cuts electricity demand in half, and also allows us to use the exhaust heat elsewhere."

According to Goonhilly, the platform delivers high-performance GPU-based compute and storage for decentralised and centralised AI and machine learning applications. By provisioning both compute, AI and machine learning resources on demand, customers can reduce the cost of deployment and accelerate the launch of products.

Goonhilly has also joined the Nvidia Inception programme for businesses, furthering its AI work and granting it access to Nvidia's DGX-1, the world's first supercomputer purpose-built for enterprise AI and deep learning.

To mark the opening of the data centre, and also celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, Goonhilly is hosting an event on-site on Thursday 18 July for space industry partners, academia, customers and prospects. It includes a panel discussion on trends in AI, cloud and edge computing.

"Through our strong partnerships with industry and academia, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of innovation. Our new green data centre is no exception. It is satisfying to open our doors to the many businesses and organisations with data-intensive applications who can benefit from this facility and the community we are creating," said Ian Jones, the CEO of Goonhilly.

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