U.S. company building AI supercomputer factory in Central Bohemia

Hewlett Packard Enterprise will open a new plant in Kutná Hora next to its existing server and storage factory.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 23.05.2022 11:15:00 (updated on 23.05.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic will be home to a new high-tech manufacturing center for supercomputers capable of artificial intelligence. U.S.-based Hewlett Packard Enterprise chose Kutná Hora, Central Bohemia, for its first European factory for next-generation high-performance computing and artificial intelligence systems.

The new site will manufacture custom-designed systems mainly intended for scientific research. The factory will become Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s fourth global site. Operations will begin in the summer of 2022.

The new plant in Kutná Hora will be built next to Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s existing European branch for producing standard servers and storage solutions, which it runs in association with Taiwan-based Foxconn.

Two main product lines will be manufactured and shipped at the new plant: the HPE Apollo systems, which are used for high-performance computing (HPC) and artificial intelligence (AI) applications as well as AI modeling and training, and the HPE Cray EX supercomputers, designed to support next-generation, high-end supercomputing to tackle challenging scientific and AI tasks.

The factory is designed to meet specific manufacturing requirements of liquid-cooled HPC and AI systems. The factory features a floor reinforced to withstand the weight of HPE Cray EX supercomputers, which weigh up to 3,628 kilograms per cabinet, and includes a water circuit between the supercomputers and the building’s roof to help cool down hot water.

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Foxconn will also support the new site’s product manufacturing and shipping to fulfill orders in Europe, as it does with the existing server plant.

Justin Hotard, HPE’s executive vice president and general manager for HPC and AI, said the significant investment adds to previous research and development initiatives in Europe. The plant will increase supply chain viability and resiliency in Europe.

“When European organizations adopt next-generation supercomputing, they gain a powerful foundation to seize opportunities of exponential data growth to accelerate scientific discovery, strengthen digital sovereignty, and unlock innovations to deliver greater economic value,” Hotard said.

The uses of the computing systems include predicting and preparing for extreme weather events, diagnosing and treating diseases, and improving food security and sustainability.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise formed in 2015 when computer firm Hewlett-Packard split into two parts. Hewlett Packard Inc. continues to make personal computers and printers. Hewlett Packard Enterprise, a completely separate entity, concentrates on cloud services, computing, HPC and AI, and related areas.

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