KDDI and Sharp to build Asia’s largest data centre 


The new data centre will be built on the site of a former LCD panel factory owned by Foxconn, Sharp’s parent company 

Japan’s KDDI and Sharp have begun discussions with Super Micro Computer Inc. and Datasection to build an AI datacentre in Japan, which they say will be the largest in Asia. 

According to the press release, the companies have entered into discussions and aim to “start operations as early as possible.” 

The data centre will be built on the Sharp Sakai Plant in Osaka, which is set to close in September having become unprofitable. 

The newly constructed data centre will be powered by Nvidia’s GB200 NVL72s, server racks specialised in training and running AI models. The site will host at last 1,000 servers.  

KDDI noted that there are three main challenges when building an AI data centre with a large scale computing platform: 

procuring state-of-the-art computing equipment;
developing a highly-efficient cooling system to manage heat generation;
and securing electric power and space.

The companies claim they can “effectively and efficiently” tackle these challenges by combining their assets and expertise. 

 “We expect that the former Sharp Sakai Plant will be able to provide adequate electric power and space to support the AI data center’s electricity needs,” explained KDDI in a statement. 

“Datasection will support the operation of AI data centre. KDDI will provide robust support to this project through the construction and operation of AI data centre and network infrastructure,” it continued. 

Japan has been a hotbed for AI and datacentre investment as the race for global dominance ramps up. In April, Microsoft announced a $2.9 billion investment over the next two years, focussing on cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure. In January, AWS announced an investment of 2.2 trillion yen ($15.24 billion) in the country’s cloud computing infrastructure by 2027. The investment is in addition to the 1.51 trillion yen ($10.20 billion) it has already spent on increasing cloud capacity in Japan.  

Tadao Nagasaki, head of the Japan unit of AWS said during the announcement’s press conference that the company sees “Japan as a very important country,” 

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