Publishing Date: Jun 10, 2024

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SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) and Sharp Corporation (“Sharp”) announced they signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the construction of a large-scale AI data centre 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 centre 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 centre in 2025, and it expects to increase the power capacity of the data centre to over 400 megawatts in the future.

In January 2024, SoftBank and Sharp began discussions regarding the construction of an AI data centre by utilizing the Sharp Sakai Plant. SoftBank is aiming to rapidly construct the data centre 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 centre for its own generative AI development and other AI-related business. SoftBank also plans to widely provide the data centre 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 centre's environmental impact.

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


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