Tesla is set to invest over $500 million into building a Dojo supercomputer at its New York Gigafactory, as announced during a state budget briefing this week.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul held a hearing on economic developments in the state on Friday, officially announcing that Tesla plans to build its next Dojo supercomputing cluster at its Gigafactory in Buffalo (via WGRZ). Hochul said the project would account for an investment of $500 million, and it will also come alongside a separate artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputer being built at the State University of New York (SUNY).
“I’m also proud to announce that Tesla is investing $500 million to build their next supercomputer right here in Buffalo,” Hochul said.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk later went on to confirm the plans to build the supercomputing cluster on X, though he also clarified that the $500 million amount would only account for a smaller Nvidia system, adding that the “table stakes” for being a competitive player in AI were “at least several billion dollars per year.”
The governor is correct that this is a Dojo Supercomputer, but $500M, while obviously a large sum of money, is only equivalent to a 10k H100 system from Nvidia.
Tesla will spend more than that on Nvidia hardware this year. The table stakes for being competitive in AI are at…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 26, 2024
Currently, Tesla’s New York Gigafactory builds the company’s solar panels, solar roof, and the electrical components for its Superchargers, while the site also has a number of staff dedicated to Autopilot data analysis.
She didn’t provide a timeline for the installation plans, though the New York Governor also detailed $275 million in funding from a state grant as well as over $400 million in public and private funding all going toward the “Empire AI” program at SUNY.
In addition, Hochul says the global AI market has reached a total value of about $150 billion, though it’s expected to balloon to $1.3 trillion in just a few years.
The news comes after Tesla Dojo project lead Ganesh Venkataramanan left the company last month, and after Musk said last June that Dojo had already “been online and running useful tasks for a few months.”
The Dojo supercomputer is expected to be able to process massive volumes of sensor data to help train AI on real-world driving footage. Beyond Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta systems, Dojo is expected to have several potential applications, being one of the world’s most prolific computing clusters.
You can watch the full video of the briefing below from WGRZ, with Hochul’s statements on Tesla around 33 minutes minutes.