AI-training trial yields impressive results

The Edinburgh International Data Facility (EIDF), operated by EPCC, underpins the Data-Driven Innovation initiative. The Cerebras CS-2 supercomputer is at the heart of the AI services offered by EIDF, and its great potential to power innovation in business has been demonstrated in a recent trial. 

EPCC is currently working with Scottish-based consultancy smartR AI on a project to train and fine-tune an AI large-language model (LLM) using the Cerebras CS-2. The results so far have shown a dramatic reduction in the time required for LLM training, with a model trained from scratch in nearly one hour on the EPCC system using the CS-2, compared to ten hours on smartR AI’s own internal system. Further time reductions are expected in the near future when more CS-2s will be connected, enabling training to run on multiple machines at the same time.

Oliver King-Smith, founder and CEO of smartR AI, said: “We are very fortunate to be able to work with EPCC on this important performance project, and look forward to the potential to incorporate other similar tests with, for example, EPCC’s new Graphcore POD64 system.” 

Julien Sindt, EPCC Commercial Manager, said: “Here at EPCC, we believe the impressive results from smartR AI give clear confirmation that the Cerebras CS-2 is a game-changer for training large language models. The Cerebras team has recently developed new upgrades for the system which we expect will enable training times to be reduced even further, and we look forward to sharing these benefits with our partners.” 

About EIDF 

EIDF provides long-term hosting and curation of major data-sets for a wide range of stakeholders, including academics and industry, and offers both cloud-like and high-performance computing environments for researchers and innovators. EIDF also provides Safe Haven services to health and government users. The system is housed at EPCC’s Advanced Computing Facility in a purpose-built, high-resilience computer room. 

Cerebras CS-2 

The SuperDome Flex Cerebras CS-2 service, operated by EPCC, gives users access to EIDF’s Cerebras AI supercomputer. The service is generally available to DDI partners. Please contact the EIDF service desk for information on how to apply for access: 

To discuss how EPCC’s supercomputing and data services can support your business goals, please contact Julien Sindt, EPCC’s Commercial Manager: 

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