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NHN chooses Graphcore IPU POD Systems for Korean AI Services

Jun 07, 2021

NHN chooses Graphcore for Korean AI Services

Written By:

Minwoo Kang

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Korean technology giant NHN has announced that it will use Graphcore IPU-PODs in upcoming AI compute projects, citing numerous advantages over GPU-based systems.

The company, whose business includes the development of large-scale cloud datacenters, highlighted the scalable design of the IPU-POD, including the separation of AI accelerators and servers, allowing highly flexible configurations. It contrasted this capability with GPU-based systems, where the two elements are packaged together in a fixed ratio.

Graphcore’s approach allows customers to choose their own server configuration, and tailor the number of servers to IPUs to suit the particular AI workload, delivering maximum compute performance and efficiency.

A deal signed by the two companies will see NHN and Graphcore collaborate on a range of joint projects, while also working to develop AI infrastructure systems including HPC (High Performance Computing), integrating with NHN Cloud systems, and OpenStack.

Kim Dong-hoon, executive director of NHN Cloud Business Group, said: “I’m happy that NHN and Graphcore – both leading innovators in their fields – have created this opportunity to collaborate. 

“We will work to lead the domestic AI and machine learning development ecosystem through our continued co-operation”.

The NHN partnership is the largest, publicly announced commercial agreement for Graphcore in Asia, to date. 

It is hugely significant that one of Korea’s leading providers of cloud services has recognised the capabilities of the Graphcore IPU, in particular its ability to support next-generation AI applications for organisations that are building or expanding their AI compute capability with an eye to the future.

Graphcore is working with both Atos and Megazone to deliver the NHN deal. These valued partners are providing expert support on this, and a range of other projects across their respective regions.

Atos is a global leader in secure and decarbonized digital with a range of market-leading digital solutions along with consultancy services, digital security, and decarbonization offerings. In complementing Graphcore’s portfolio, Atos plays an integral role in ensuring an end-to-end solution for NHN in this next-gen AI deployment in Korea.

Graphcore’s IPU systems have been attracting growing interest across both the public and private sectors in Korea, supported by our local office and specialist customer support teams, including AI field application engineers.

Korea is one of the world’s most advanced nations, in terms of artificial intelligence, rated fifth for infrastructure and third for development, according to the Global AI Index.