Norway has acquired a 225 million NOK ($21 million) national supercomputer to help support AI research and innovation in the country.

The tender, which was completed in May, was given to Hewlett-Packard Norway AS.

Lefdal Mine Datacenter
– Lefdal Mine Datacenter

Set to be installed in the second quarter of 2025, the system will be housed in the Lefdal Mine Datacenter (LMD) in Nordfjordeid, Norway – an old olivine mine that was converted into a data center in 2017. The HPE Cray Supercomputing EX system will provide a total of 304 Nvidia GH200 GPUs, making it the most powerful supercomputer ever deployed in Norway.

The system will also be the first national supercomputer to be housed at the data center. Once up and running, it will consume 30 percent less power than its predecessor, Sigma2. Cold water from a nearby fjord will be pumped into the system to cool it, while heated return water will be reused by local businesses.

Procured and operated by state-owned company Sigma AS, Norway’s national supercomputers, and their services are operated in collaboration with the Universities of Bergen, Oslo, Tromsø, and NTNU under the name Norwegian Research Infrastructure Services.

The system will be available to researchers across Norway and is expected to have enough power and capacity to meet the country’s compute needs for the next five years.

“It is crucial that we invest in computing power and AI technology now to ensure that Norwegian research does not lag in the years to come,” said Gunnar Bøe, managing director of Sigma2. “Our acquisition of the new system from HPE represents a good step in the right direction, but much more is needed. Access to advanced technology like this and specialized competence to use it will be essential for digital transformation in several sectors going forward.”

First announced in 2015 and opened in 2017, LMD is potentially Europe's largest data center in floor space with up to 120,000 sqm (1.3 million sq ft) in 75 underground halls - although the vast majority of the caverns remain empty.

In April 2023, Lefdal added 60MW power capacity to its underground data center campus, adding a connection to the regional 132 kV power network that increased the available power to the data center from 20MW to 80MW.