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Sharp and KDDI to Transform Old Factory into Nvidia-Powered AI Data Center

Sharp and KDDI to convert old factory into Nvidia-powered AI data center. Joint venture with Datasection to establish the data center. Procurement of 1,000 servers equipped with next-gen Nvidia GPUs.

The data center will be powered by advanced Nvidia chips, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Sharp and KDDI have agreed to begin discussions about forming a joint venture for the data centre with Japanese systems developer Datasection. The details of the investment and ownership structure are yet to be finalised.

The joint venture plans to purchase around 1,000 servers outfitted with next-generation Nvidia graphics processing units (GPUs), including the much-anticipated Blackwell series. These servers will be obtained through Datasection, which has a connection with US server manufacturer Super Micro Computer.

KDDI will be in charge of constructing and operating a data centre network using these servers on the grounds of Sharp's LCD television panel factory in Sakai, near Osaka. The facility will close later this year to make way for its makeover into an AI data centre.

The newly built data centre will serve engineers working on large-scale language models, which form the basis of generative AI programmes such as ChatGPT. Nvidia plans to start full-scale sales of the Blackwell GPUs later this year, offering considerable increases in compute performance and energy efficiency over previous versions.

According to Datasection, the data center's Blackwell GPU procurement is projected to be one of the largest in Asia.

Nvidia, a global leader in AI data center chips, held a dominant 77% market share in this segment last year, as reported by Omdia.

Sharp had invested approximately 430 billion yen ($2.7 billion) in building the Sakai plant back in 2009. However, the factory encountered difficulties in sustaining continuous operations, affecting the company's earnings. Sharp said in May that the factory would close in September.

Sharp has already considered converting the facility into a cutting-edge data centre, and now the proposal is about to become a reality thanks to a cooperation with KDDI and Datasection.

  • Sharp and KDDI to convert old factory into Nvidia-powered AI data center

  • Joint venture with Datasection to establish the data center

  • Procurement of 1,000 servers equipped with next-gen Nvidia GPUs


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