Japan’s KDDI and Sharp Plan Asia’s Largest AI Data Centre

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In a significant move towards bolstering AI infrastructure in Asia, Japan’s KDDI and Sharp have initiated discussions with Super Micro Computer Inc. and Datasection to establish the region’s largest AI data centre. The ambitious project will be situated at the soon-to-be-closed Sharp Sakai Plant in Osaka, marking a strategic repurposing of the unprofitable facility slated to shut down in September.

The proposed data centre will leverage Nvidia’s GB200 NVL72s, which are specialized server racks designed for the intensive training and operation of AI models. The site is expected to house at least 1,000 servers, aiming to become operational as swiftly as possible, according to the companies involved.

KDDI highlighted three critical challenges in developing a large-scale AI data centre: acquiring advanced computing hardware, implementing an efficient cooling system to manage heat, and securing sufficient electric power and space. The collaboration among the companies is seen as a strategic alliance to address these issues effectively by pooling their resources and expertise.

KDDI emphasized that the former Sharp Sakai Plant is ideally suited to meet the electrical and spatial demands of the new AI facility. Datasection is set to play a key role in the operation of the data centre, while KDDI will focus on its construction and the establishment of the necessary network infrastructure.

Japan continues to attract significant investment in AI and data centre development. In April, Microsoft committed to investing $2.9 billion over the next two years to enhance its cloud computing and AI infrastructure in Japan. Similarly, AWS announced plans to invest 2.2 trillion yen ($15.24 billion) by 2027, supplementing the 1.51 trillion yen ($10.20 billion) already spent on expanding Japan’s cloud capacity.

According to Tadao Nagasaki, head of AWS Japan, the country remains a key focus for the company, underscoring Japan’s pivotal role in the global AI and cloud computing landscape.

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