Spain boosts AI power with MareNostrum 5 supercomputer upgrade

Enhanced MareNostrum 5 to propel Spain to AI leadership.

The Spanish government is enhancing the AI capabilities of MareNostrum 5, one of Europe’s top supercomputers, increasing its processing power by nearly 50% to 450 petaflops, enabling 450,000 trillion operations per second. This upgrade is part of Spain’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2024, aimed at advancing the country’s AI technology.

Key elements of the strategy include:

  1. Language Models Initiative (ALIA): Developing open and transparent AI language models in Spanish and regional languages to reduce biases and improve applications. The Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC) will lead this effort.
  2. Investment in Supercomputing: €90 million will be invested in MareNostrum 5 and the Spanish Supercomputing Network to enhance computing capacity for research and industry, with 20% of MareNostrum 5’s capacity dedicated to industrial use.
  3. Sustainable Data Centers: Establishing environmentally sustainable data centers and energy-efficient AI infrastructures.
  4. Talent Development: Investing €160 million in scholarships, vocational training, and teacher training to cultivate AI talent.

Additionally, the strategy aims to:

  • Implement AI in public administration through the GovTech project.
  • Support AI adoption in SMEs and startups with €650 million in funding.
  • Enhance national cybersecurity with a new law and AI-driven innovations.

The Spanish Agency for the Supervision of Artificial Intelligence (AESIA) will ensure AI development is transparent, ethical, and sustainable. The strategy is backed by a budget of €1.5 billion, in addition to €600 million from the Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan. Coordination across all ministries will be managed by the Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence, with regular oversight to ensure effective implementation.

The MareNostrum 5, installed at the BSC, has 5% Portuguese participation, and the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) has provided a form for interested parties from the national sectors of Science, Technology, Innovation, and Public Administration to express their interest in the pre-production phase of MareNostrum 5, which is expected to last 3 months starting from June/July 2024. Interested parties must submit the form by June 27, 2024.

[Image credits: BSC]