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The head of a Swiss data center wants to move capabilities abroad

The head of a Swiss data center wants to move capabilities abroad

02/11/2024, 07:2802/12/2024, 07:49

According to the head of the Swiss Center for High Performance Computing, computing capabilities should be transferred abroad.

Switzerland should focus domestic resources on innovative pilot projects, Thomas Schultheiss, head of the National Center for High-Performance Computing (CSCS), said in an interview. With SontagsZeitung.

“We will never operate data centers in Switzerland with a capacity of 100 megawatts like leading technology companies like Microsoft or Google.”

Director of the Swiss Center for Scientific Computing (CSCS), Thomas Schultheis.Image: Cornerstone

According to Schultheiss, Northern Europe is an ideal place to outsource local computing capabilities:

“Finland, Norway and Sweden have large hydropower reserves far from cities that have already been installed and used to supply electricity to mines or paper mills. Switzerland should help make northern European electricity infrastructure more usable for scientific computing.”

Schultheis said that a consortium called “LOMI” (Large Consolidated Modern Infrastructure) has already been established with Finland, which includes ten countries. Under his leadership, a data center was built in a former Finnish paper mill.

The demand for electricity is increasing

“The location is ideal and it is cost effective. “The factory hall and associated infrastructure for electricity and refrigeration production are already in place,” the CSCS chief said.

“There should be more projects like this. But since Switzerland withdrew from the negotiations on the framework agreement with the EU, the EU-controlled Lomé organization has begun to harass us and we can no longer participate fully.”

Such an expansion of Swiss computing capacity is necessary because demand for electricity is increasing, Schultheis says:

“Not only do artificial intelligence and high-performance computers require large amounts of electricity, but also mobility, which is increasingly expected to shift from combustion engines to electric ones. For us as a society, this means: we have to think about how to solve problems with demand.” Increasing electricity supply.

(seda)

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