Our AI capabilities extended with multi-million pound upgrade

8 December 2022

Following the successful deployment of our Cerebras CS-1 system, the first to be launched in Europe, we have now replaced it with the CS-2.

The Edinburgh International Data Facility (EIDF) provides computing services designed for data science. This includes scalable notebooks, data science desktops and specialist compute platforms, and now two Cerebras CS-2 large-scale artificial intelligence (AI) engines.

This multi-million pound upgrade represents a significant expansion of our artificial learning (AI) capabilities as part of the EIDF programme.

With 850,000 AI optimised cores, the Cerebras CS-2 system boasts over twice as many cores and twice as much on-chip memory as the CS-1, and over a hundred times as many cores as the current class-leading GPUs. This allows EPCC to run industry-standard AI frameworks such as PyTorch and TensorFlow with models up to a million parameters.

With the option to cross-connect two CS-2 systems, we have the potential to use even larger models for tackling extremely large problems unthinkable on normal GPU clusters.

This also gives us the ability to include a CS-2 system in the next iteration of the National Safe Haven, giving researchers the ability to use cutting edge systems for Natural Language Processing within the strict confines required for access to controlled health data, for example to analyse, search and process digitised records at a scale previously not possible.

Safe haven services

EIDF provides a range of security environments for data analysis and archive services: standard; protected data access; and safe haven.

The Scottish National Safe Haven provides a governed, trusted research environment for accredited researchers to work on approved projects of public benefit using sensitive data.

The service is operated by EPCC as part of the EIDF infrastructure but is controlled by Public Health Scotland under the oversight of Scotland’s Public Benefit and Privacy Panel.

Dynamic service

EIDF provides computing, data management, IoT and safe haven services for the Data-Driven Innovation (DDI) programme, and offers bespoke customisation and service co-creation for DDI partners, researchers and innovators.

It is dynamic and challenge-led, with services co-designed with our partners to solve real problems. EIDF’s service catalogue will grow and change over the coming years in response to the needs of our stakeholders.

CS-2 access

The CS-2 is generally available for DDI programme partners. For information on how to apply for access, email eidf@epcc.ed.ac.uk.


Cerebras CS

Above: the Cerebras system, which is housed at EPCC’s Advanced Computing Facility.


Dr Nick Johnson