SoftBank to construct large-scale AI data center

SoftBank and Sharp Corporation signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the construction of a large-scale AI data center that utilizes land and buildings related to Sharp’s LCD panel plant located in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture (Sharp Sakai Plant). SoftBank plans to construct a data center with a total floor area of 750,000 meters and power capacity of over 150 megawatts on a site of approximately 440,000 square meters that accounts for about 60% of the Sharp Sakai Plant’s total land area. 

SoftBank is aiming to launch full-scale operations of the data center in 2025, and it expects to increase the power capacity of the data center to over 400 megawatts in the future.

In January 2024, SoftBank and Sharp began discussions regarding the construction of an AI data center by utilizing the Sharp Sakai Plant. SoftBank is aiming to rapidly construct the data center by inheriting the land, buildings, electric power supply facilities, cooling systems and other resources of the Sharp Sakai Plant. SoftBank is targeting a start of construction around the autumn of 2024 and full-scale operations in 2025.

SoftBank plans to utilize this data center for its own generative AI development and other AI-related business. SoftBank also plans to widely provide the data center to universities, research institutions, businesses and others to meet the various AI-related usage needs of external parties. Furthermore, SoftBank plans to consider the utilization of clean energy sources to minimize the data center’s environmental impact.

Based on this agreement, SoftBank and Sharp will consider collaborating in AI-related businesses going forward.

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