his week, the University of Bristol has powered up Isambard-AI, the UK’s fastest and most potent supercomputer, following a £225 million investment announced by the government last March. Built by Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Isambard-AI boasts over 5,000 NVIDIA superchips, enabling it to execute a staggering 200 quadrillion calculations per second. Officially named the AI Research Resource (AIRR), this supercomputer surpasses its predecessor by a factor of ten in computational power, aiming to support critical AI technology development.

A first-of-its-kind system in the UK is being trialled in Edinburgh to see if waste heat from a large computing facility can be stored in disused mine workings and used to warm homes. The large amounts of energy needed to power the University of Edinburgh’s Advanced Computing Facility (ACF) could be recycled to heat at least 5,000 households in Scotland’s capital.