Microsoft is taking a leadership position in building the new and expanded data center infrastructure that will be needed to support artificial intelligence. This follows the company’s surge into the lead in artificial intelligence with its $10B investment in ChatGPT and Open AI.
Since its release at the end of November, ChatGPT has exploded into the internet, gaining its first million users in less than a week. In line with this, Microsoft wants to accelerate building a data center that would support the AI chatbot.
For its digital infrastructure, AI will need an innovative cloud-computing framework, one that reconfigures the way that current data center networks are organized in terms of where various data center clusters are located and what specific functions they offer.
The data-crunching requirements of AI platforms are so great that OpenAI, the company that made ChatGPT, could not continue to operate the chatbot without using Microsoft’s soon-to-be-updated Azure cloud platform.
The Redmond, Washington-based tech giant announced this week that it is preparing to build a new 750K SF hyperscale data center campus near Quincy, WA, about 20 miles from Microsoft’s main Washington data center hub.
The 102.5-acre campus, also known as the Malaga project, will house three 250K SF server farms on land that Microsoft paid $9.2M for in April. The complex is planned to be finished by 2027; construction will start in June and the first building will be delivered in 18 months.
The powerful microprocessors used in artificial intelligence infrastructure will require a cooling system at the Quincy complex that pumps water directly from the Columbia River to the data centers.
Microsoft is also planning to build a $2.3M water works installation to pump water from rivers to cool the advanced microprocessors at the campus—the company estimates that each of the three buildings on the campus will require at least 121,000 gallons of water each day.