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Foxconn Rolls Out HPC-as-a-service Platforms

Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn, formally Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., on Dec. 26 said it has set up a high-performance computing (HPC) center in Kaohsiung Taiwan, as part of a new HPC-as-a-service platform offering cloud hosting for clients.

Foxconn, which makes electronics under contract for clients such as Apple Inc., launched Taiwan's fastest HPC system, capable of performing 4.13Gflops/sec per watt, according to Lu Fang-ming, group vice president of Foxconn and chairman of APT.

Foxconn unit Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) introduced the new HPC-as-a-service platform to offer cloud hosting tailored for resource-intensive technical workloads. APT’s new computing center is located at Kaohsiung Software Technology Park in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung.

Since the southern Taiwan technology park’s establishment in 2000, over 250 enterprises have set up operations and over 8,000 job opportunities have been created. The 587-hectare zone is close to Kaohsiung Exhibition Center and the Port of Kaohsiung.

"We are offering computing as a service. Areas we are focusing on include medical care, scientific research and the kind of graphic rendering used in film production and gaming," said Lu.

According to the report, Lu said that the HPC features integration of CPUs and GPUs, and harnesses computing performance equivalent to the combined capacities of as many as 5.4 million iPhone X connected via eco-friendly modules. It is now the most power-saving supercomputer system available in Taiwan, he said. Offering HPC-as-a-service makes Foxconn’s data center infrastructure available to a wider group of clients.

Foxconn is exploring the possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI) in major industries like healthcare, sports and film production. Foxconn's HPC is designed to serve as a fundamental equipment platform for customers in these industries to incorporate applications, Lu said.

With computing performance 250 times as powerful as general computer systems, the HPC can drastically reduce the time needed for DNA sequencing to only 30 minutes from three days.

It can also help medical experts easily extract useful information from big data to better understand cancer-causing genes and find ways to attack cancer cells, according to Lu.

The company is boosting its cloud capacity, positioning itself as the leader for AI, big data, and cloud computing services. It believes it can gain traction in HPC by building upon its relationships with users in eight verticals, including medical image analysis, sports analytics, and animation rendering.

Foxconn also said it intends to explore new applications in the field going forward.