Microsoft and OpenAI are reportedly in the process of planning a groundbreaking data center project which would include an AI supercomputer named “Stargate”.

A report by Anissa Gardizy and Amir Efrati in The Information claims the goal of the project, which would be financed by Microsoft to the tune of over $100 billion, and which reportedly has a launch date set for 2028, is to reduce the two companies’ reliance on Nvidia, something that a lot of the tech giants involved in AI are increasingly looking to try to do. 

Microsoft and OpenAI’s plan reportedly involves five phases, with Stargate being the fifth and most ambitious one.

The data center will be the supercomputer

The cost of the project is attributed to the age-old “sources familiar with the plans” (The Information says these are “a person who spoke to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman about it and a person who has viewed some of Microsoft’s initial cost estimates”), but neither Microsoft nor OpenAI have yet commented on the specifics of the project.

The new data center project is expected to push the boundaries of AI capability and could potentially exceed $115 billion in expenses. This is more than triple the amount Microsoft spent on capital expenditures for servers and equipment last year. Microsoft is currently working on a smaller, fourth-phase supercomputer for OpenAI that is expected to launch around 2026, The Information claims.

Shedding more light on the report, The Next Platform says, “The first thing to note about the rumored “Stargate” system that Microsoft is planning to build to support the computational needs of its large language model partner, OpenAI, is that the people doing the talking – reportedly OpenAI chief executive officer Sam Altman – are talking about a data center, not a supercomputer. And that is because the data center – and perhaps multiple data centers within a region with perhaps as many as 1 million XPU computational devices – will be the supercomputer.”

The Next Platform also says if Stargate does come to fruition it will be “based on future generations of Cobalt Arm server processors and Maia XPUs, with Ethernet scaling to hundreds of thousands to 1 million XPUs in a single machine,” and it definitely won’t be based on Nvidia GPUs and interconnects, which seems like a safe bet if the rumors are to be believed.

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