Chulalongkorn Uni strides towards Thailand 4.0 innovations

Photo by Franck V. on UnsplashIndochina is certainly becoming a happening place for innovations. Just a week after Vietnam’s VinAI announced that it was using the new NVIDIA DGX A100 for natural language processing research, Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University is now turning to the same system to power its Thailand 4.0 innovations.

Chulalongkorn University Technology Center (UTC) will use the five-petaflop AI system to drive AI and data-driven research projects and innovations and to meet the high demand for AI training systems.

“We were looking for the best-in-class GPU training system of the highest performance to train AI models from large volumes of data, which include high-resolution images, in the shortest time,” said Prof Yingyos Avihingsanon, Director of Chulalongkorn UTC, the technology arm of Thailand’s top university.

“Furthermore, for easy maintenance, the GPU-based system needed to have an assistive software to optimise the GPU as well as a simple management tool. The hardware and software must be able to integrate with and connect to our existing IT infrastructure easily,” he added.

UTC was established to address the so-called “valley of death” – the gap between university research and intellectual property and working applications with commercial value.

It works closely with faculty, students, industry and government to identify the most promising deep tech research areas for development and commercialisation to solve the nation’s biggest challenges.

The centre is currently focusing on coming up with AI innovations under the Thailand 4.0 initiative, which has identified one of five main growth sectors as digital technologies, the Internet of Things, AI and embedded technology. Its core research includes natural language processing for the Thai language, image processing and reinforcement learning.

Another focus area is medical technology, which is in high demand as Thailand has Asia’s third most rapidly aging population, with one in four people being over 60 years old by 2030.

“Our projects demand higher processing power in a shorter amount of time as we have large volumes of images and datasets. With the new NVIDIA DGX A100, we hope to achieve breakthrough AI-driven research and innovations,” said Asst Prof Natawut Nupairoj, Director, AI and data science at Chulalongkorn UTC.

“By unifying support for AI analytics, training and inference on one platform and by boosting performance up to 20x over its predecessors, the NVIDIA DGX A100 will provide the computing resources and high performance that Chulalongkorn UTC needs to drive its research. The Chulalongkorn UTC DGX A100 deployment builds on NVIDIA’s close relationship with the university through a joint-lab that works on industry-oriented AI research projects and a node as part of our NVIDIA AI Technology Centre network,” said Dennis Ang, Director of Enterprise Business, SEA and ANZ Region at NVIDIA.