Is a Gigawatt Class Data Center Being Built in Kuwait?

- Team Vast

February 15, 2024-Industry

When you need high-powered resources to power complex calculations, the more you have the better. In a recent interview, Elon Musk claimed that he heard of a gigawatt class data center being built. Many responders think that Elon is referring to a rumor that –deep in the deserts of Kuwait–, the construction of a new data center is being built to compete with today’s most powerful compute power resources.

Elon Musk likely heard the rumor from news of a startup poaching technology workers from AWS, Azure, Meta, and other large Silicon Valley companies. In 2023, the race to be a leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning became even more competitive. To be the best, organizations need immense GPU power, usually outsourced to the cloud for its quick deployment and scaling. Large cloud providers built the data centers to power calculations, and businesses can rent the compute resources necessary to power any project – from small personal projects to large enterprise-tier analytics.

The rumor of a Kuwait data center came in the summer of 2023. A company named Omniva –also known as Moneta Tech, and Moneta Systems– was interested in building the most powerful data center in the world. Their goal was to rival Google and Microsoft in technology. Originally, the data center idea was targeted towards cryptomining, but later became an idea to target businesses innovating for the latest artificial intelligence boom.

As more information became available, the gigawatt claims began to unravel. The facility was said to be about 430,000 square feet with total available power of 864 megawatts. A proposed budget of $200 million immediately sent red flags. As a benchmark, it’s reported that a Google data center costs between $1000 and $3000 per square foot. This means that at the very cheapest, a data center of Omniva’s size should cost $430 million, over double the proposed budget.

Cooling systems were ignored for manned spaces in exchange for employee cooling helmets. Fire systems were removed in exchange for fire extinguishers. Anyone with data center experience knows that the proposed planning and safety aren’t feasible.

Next is Omniva’s claim to offer gigawatts of power to customers. NVIDIA continues to dominate GPU performance and offer the best in compute power. To reach the compute power rumored to be available, Omniva would need the latest generation of GPUs, namely the new NVIDIA Blackwell B100. The B100s haven’t hit the market yet, but NVIDIA teased consumers with the promise that their next generation GPUs should launch in 2024.

As of today, any facility rumored to be built with gigawatt power has never been confirmed. The power promised in 2023 wasn’t available, and many of the plans presented to the public didn’t have the backing of professionals. The cloud GPU space still has the computational power to support artificial intelligence and cryptomining, but businesses and consumers should stick to a trusted provider.

For the absolute best in compute power with the latest in GPU technology, has the resources you need for machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other high-powered analytics projects for your cloud GPU needs.

Share on
  • Contact
  • Get in Touch