Russia's Sber presents its supercomputer

Russia's Sber presents its supercomputer
By bne IntelliNews November 22, 2021

Russia's financial and tech giant Sber (formerly known as Sberbank) and its subsidiary SberCloud, a cloud service provider, presented their cutting-edge high-performance supercomputer Christofari Neo at the international conference AI Journey 2021, which ran on November 10-12.

According to Sber, the performance of Christofari Neo approximates to 12 PFLOPs (11.95 PFLOPs). The supercomputer uses solutions by NVIDIA, a global leader in AI. At the core of the supercomputer are A100 Tensor Core GPUs, which deliver unprecedented acceleration at every scale for AI, while their 80 Gb memory allows users to work with large AI models and data pools.

“The Christofari Neo supercomputer will enable Sber to bring computing speeds to the next level, unlocking new opportunities for us to implement breakthrough services and products with underlying cutting-edge technology," David Rafalovsky, CTO and global head of Operation and Technology of SberBank Group and executive vice-president at SberBank, said in a statement.

"SberCloud’s current and new customers will have access to the capacities of two supercomputers at once," he went on to say. "The important thing that has remained unchanged is the ease of use of the new supercomputer, since Christofari Neo is closely integrated with the ML Space and Christofari platforms. This means customers can access the performance they need as quickly and easily as ever.”

Christofari Neo is perfect for training and inference when it comes to transformer models, with the latest architecture trained on large data sets, Sber said. SberDevices and Sber AI teams were the first to have pilot access to Christofari Neo.

Thanks to ML Space, the SberDevices team switched between the supercomputers seamlessly, optimising the costs and speed of training for the ruGPT-3 & family transformer models available for further training and testing on SberCloud.

Last year, Sber, previously known primarily as Russia’s leading retail bank, rebranded itself to just “Sber,” dropping the word “bank” from its name and saying it aimed to become a tech company, with banking services being just part of an ecosystem.

In early 2021, the management ramped up its rebranding drive, promising to double investment into building its new “bank plus everything else” online ecosystem in the next three years.

In October Sber became the most valuable bank in Europe.

In early November Sber said it was preparing to open an R&D centre in Berlin, its first one in Western Europe, as part of a global expansion of its tech ecosystem.

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