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4 December, 2017 - 00:15 By Tony Quested

Arm AI chip to drive global healthcare revolution

A new artificial intelligence chip is being developed by Cambridge UK technology business Arm and Texas-based molecular data company Nano Global to help conquer a raft of health hazards from superbugs to cancer and infectious diseases.

The revolutionary system-on-chip (SoC) will yield highly-secure molecular data that can be used in the recognition and analysis of health threats caused by pathogens and other living organisms. 

Combined with Nano Global’s scientific technology platform, the chip leverages advances in nanotechnology, optics, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain authentication, and edge computing to access and analyse molecular-level data in real time.

Rene Haas, executive VP and president of IPG at Arm said: “We believe the technology Nano Global is delivering will be an important step forward in the collective pursuit of care that improves lives through the application of technology.

“By collaborating with Nano Global, Arm is taking an active role in developing and deploying the technologies that will move us one step closer to solving complex health challenges.”

Steve Papermaster, chairman and CEO of Nano Global, added: “In partnership with Arm, we’re tackling the vast frontier of molecular data to unlock the unlimited potential of this universe. The data our technology can acquire and process will enable us to create a safer and healthier world.”

Nano Global will also be partnering with leading institutions, including Baylor College of Medicine and National University of Singapore, on broad research initiatives in clinical, laboratory, and population health environments to accelerate data collection, analysis, and product development.

The initial development of the chip is in process with first delivery expected by 2020. The company is already adding new partners to the platform.

Arm is involved in another world first in super-computing. Seattle-based Cray Catapults is creating the world’s first production-ready, Arm®-based supercomputer with the addition of Cavium ThunderX2 processors, based on 64-bit Armv8-A architecture, to the Cray® XC50 supercomputer.

Cray customers will have a complete Arm-based supercomputer that features a full software environment, including the Cray Linux Environment, the Cray Programming Environment, and Arm-optimised compilers, libraries, and tools for running today’s supercomputing workloads.

Fred Kohout, Cray’s senior vice-president of products and chief marketing officer, said: “With the integration of Arm processors into our flagship Cray XC50 systems, we will offer our customers the world’s most flexible supercomputers

“Adding Arm processors complements our system’s ability to support a variety of host processors, and gives customers a unique, leadership-class supercomputer for compute, simulation, big data analytics, and deep learning.

“Our software engineers built the industry’s best Arm toolset to maximise customer value from the system, which is representative of the R & D work we do every day to build on our leadership position in supercomputing.”

Cray is currently working with multiple supercomputing centers on the development of Arm-based supercomputing systems, including various labs in the United States Department of Energy and the GW4 alliance – a coalition of four leading, research-intensive universities in the UK. 

Through an alliance with Cray and the Met Office in the UK, GW4 is designing and building ‘Isambard,’ an Arm-based Cray XC50 supercomputer.

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