Tesla's Senior Director of AI, Andrej Karpathy, unveiled the electric vehicle automaker's new supercomputer during a presentation at the 2021 Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR).
Last year, Elon Musk highlighted Tesla's plans to build a "beast" of a neural network training supercomputer called "Dojo".
For several years, the company has been teasing its Dojo supercomputer, which Musk has hinted will be the world's fastest supercomputer, outperforming the current world leader, Japan's Fugaku supercomputer which runs at 415 petaflops.
The new supercomputer seems to be a predecessor to the Dojo project, with Karpathy stating that it is the number five supercomputer in the world in terms of floating-point operations per second (FLOPS).
This supercomputer is certainly not lacking in the processing department. As Karpathy highlights in his presentation, the supercomputer has 720 nodes of 8x A100 80GB (5760 GPUs total). It also has 1.8 EFLOPS (720 nodes * 312 TFLOPS-FP16-A100 * 8 gpu/nodes), 10 PB of “hot tier” NVME storage @ 1.6 TBps, and 640 Tbps of total switching capacity.
An 'insane supercomputer'
The new machine is Tesla's third supercomputer cluster and will no doubt teach the team at Tesla some valuable lessons ahead of its Dojo project release, which Musk has previously teased for this year.
During his presentation, Karpathy said that he wanted to "give a plug to this insane supercomputer that we are building and using now." He also stated that "computer vision is the bread and butter of what we do and what enables Autopilot."
The supercomputer will be used to train Tesla's Autopilot and its Full Self Driving (FSD) AI on vast amounts of data at incredibly high speeds, with Karpathy saying this "requires a huge amount of computing."
Karpathy didn't reveal any information on the Dojo project itself, though he did suggest it will handsomely outperform Tesla's latest machine. Seeing as Musk has stated Tesla will allow other companies to use the Dojo computer to train their neural nets, that's great news for autonomous driving.
Watch Karpathy's presentation here, with him talking about the new supercomputer at around the eight-hour and 12-minute mark.