HomeWinBuzzer NewsMicrosoft and OpenAI Plan to Construct a Groundbreaking $100 Billion Supercomputer

Microsoft and OpenAI Plan to Construct a Groundbreaking $100 Billion Supercomputer

Microsoft and OpenAI plan a $100 billion supercomputer named Stargate for 2028. It would use custom chips and require vast, clean energy sources

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Microsoft and OpenAI have embarked on an ambitious project to develop a supercomputer, codenamed Stargate, with an estimated cost of up to $100 billion. The Information has reported, citing sources, that Microsoft is currently evaluating whether to finance this massive undertaking. If realized, Stargate would represent a significant leap in computing infrastructure, costing up to 100 times more than the construction of a modern datacenter and is anticipated to be operational by 2028. This initiative underscores Microsoft’s commitment to OpenAI, with the tech giant previously announcing a third-phase partnership that involves billions of dollars in infrastructure investment to remain OpenAI’s exclusive cloud provider.

Technological and Financial Implications

The construction of Stargate is expected to focus heavily on machine-learning accelerators, which are integral for running OpenAI’s sophisticated AI models. These accelerators, depending on the supplier, can carry hefty price tags, reaching tens of thousands of dollars each. Microsoft’s strategy involves utilizing a variety of accelerators, including those from Nvidia, AMD, and its proprietary Maia 100, to support AI models like GPT-4 and GPT-3.5. Additionally, there are rumors of OpenAI developing its own AI chips, which could potentially be integrated into Stargate. The supercomputer’s power consumption is projected to reach five gigawatts upon completion, posing significant challenges in sourcing carbon-free energy to align with Microsoft’s environmental commitments.

Energy Considerations and Future Prospects

In a video, AI commentator Wes Roth explains that the energy requirements for Stargate are monumental, potentially necessitating innovative solutions to meet its demands without compromising Microsoft’s eco-friendly objectives. For context, the largest nuclear power plant in the US, the Palo Verde Generating Station, has a maximum output of 3.3 gigawatts, which falls short of Stargate’s needs. Microsoft’s exploration of small modular reactors (SMR) for future site power indicates a proactive approach to addressing these energy challenges. Furthermore, Microsoft’s agreement with Helion Energy to develop a fusion reactor aligns with the timeline for Stargate, showcasing the company’s commitment to pioneering energy solutions for its data-intensive projects.

In summary, the Stargate project represents a bold vision for the future of AI and computing, with Microsoft and OpenAI at the helm of this groundbreaking initiative. While the project’s realization faces significant financial and technological challenges, its success could herald a new era in supercomputing, pushing the boundaries of what is possible

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.