AMD partners Singapore university to launch AI lab

Chipmaker teams up with Nanyang Technological University to set up a S$4.8 million (US$3.5 million) lab aimed at building up local skillsets in data science and artificial intelligence.

AMD and Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have jointly set up a S$4.8 million (US$3.5 million) lab aimed at building up local skillsets in data science and artificial intelligence (AI).

The new facility would support the university's undergraduate programme encompassing the two technology areas and enable its students to experience real-world applications, such as the development of software models used in security including identification and motion detection. They also will be able to learn about big data analytics applications which is often used in large enterprise environments and develop, for instance, clinical support software that uses analytics tools to assist medical diagnosis.

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Under the partnership, NTU students that work on research projects and machine learning applications at the lab will be using AMD's Radeon Open Compute platform, said the two organisations in a statement Friday. The students also will receive training to prepare for supercomputing competitions by using the open source software platform for hyperscale computing.

In addition, these undergraduates will have opportunities to experience local and overseas secondments with AMD, while NTU will support AMD engineers that are keen to pursue PhD programmes through the Industrial Post-graduate Programme offered by Singapore's Economic Development Board.

Starting from the university's 2019 academic year, undergraduates will be able to intern at AMD's Shanghai Research and Development Center as well as its Singapore Product Development Center.

AMD will provide one of its current-generation server processors, the EPYC, and a Radeon Instinct MI25 accelerator to support the lab, which it said can be scaled to handle hyperscale workloads.

The chipmaker also will offer its latest server technologies, such as the Radeon Instinct MI60 accelerators, to further support the lab in the future. In addition, its AI and machine-learning specialists will work with NTU professors to conduct joint training and workshop sessions for industry professionals.

Dean of NTU's College of Engineering Louis Phee said: "This collaboration with AMD highlights NTU's drive in nurturing strong relations with top industry partners to provide students with industry-relevant education. This will not only give them first-hand insights in solving real-world challenges, but also give them an edge when navigating today's dynamic workplace environment."

Singapore in August announced plans to beef up the country's skillsets in AI with the aim to enrol 12,000 industry professionals and students. It hoped to do so through new initiatives that it said will demonstrate how AI technologies can be applied to our daily lives as well as enable professionals to use such tools to boost productivity.

The government earlier had also earmarked AI as one of four technologies essential in driving Singapore's push to be a "digitally ready" nation and its digital economy.

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