GraphCore opens Japan office

GraphCore opens Japan office

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

UK AI chip designer GraphCore has opened a Japanese office to support two resellers of its IPU systems and Poplar software.

“To launch our business here, with two of the country’s most trusted technology resellers, SCSK and HPC Systems, reflects the maturity of our business and our deep commitment to Graphcore customers,” said Mamoru Nakano, who is leading the operation in Japan. He joins from Cray, HPE, Compaq and DEC.

SCSK has already secured the sale of several Graphcore systems in Japan, including to a major industrial corporation, and another in the hi-tech sector.

“Artificial intelligence is the transformative technology of our times and SCSK is helping to put the various AI solutions and services in the hands of our clients and partners across Japan,” said Noboru Kohno, General Manager, IT Engineering Division of IT Platform Business Group at SCSK.  

“Graphcore has created something truly special in the IPU – an AI compute platform that not only offers superior performance for today’s most popular applications, but also allows innovators to develop and deploy next generation AI models that demand advanced architectural features such as fine-grained, massively parallel processing.” 

HPC Systems sells to public and private research institutions and has developed its own Science Cloud and Computational Chemistry platforms.

“Across industry and academia, demand is growing for cutting-edge artificial intelligence compute and Graphcore’s results speak for themselves. HPC Systems’ customers know that the technology they choose to run their AI on can mean accelerated innovation and increased competitive advantage,“ said Teppei Ono of President & CEO at HPC Systems.

Nakano sees the current push for AI in Japan as the result of the 2017 Artificial Intelligence Technology Strategy that highlighted the need for new processor architectures to maximise the AI opportunity.

“Graphcore customers understand that the IPU isn’t just significant because it dramatically accelerates today’s most widely used AI workloads. It is architected to enable the development of highly efficient next-generation models, which take advantage of characteristics such as sparsity,” he said.

Bristol-based GraphCore, backed by companies such as Dell, BMW and Bosch, is the world’s best funded AI chip startup and  is part of a €2.6m European project working on sparsity for real world AI applications.

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