PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregon State University is planning to open a new research center in 2025 that will house one of the most powerful supercomputers in the country, thanks to a $50 million donation. 

The three-story, 150,000-square-foot research center is still in the design phase. It will be built in the northwest corner of OSU’s Corvallis campus along Southwest Memorial Place and Monroe Avenue, along the intersection with Monroe and Southwest 23rd Street. 

The center will be named the Jen-Hsun and Lori Huang Collaborative Innovation Complex in honor of the $50 million donation OSU alumni Jen-Hsun Huang and his wife Lori Huang made to the school. 

Jen-Hsun Huang is the founder and CEO of the software company NVIDIA, which focuses on developing artificial intelligence and computer graphics. Huang founded the company in 1993 with the belief that the PC would one day become a consumer device for enjoying games and multimedia. 

Since then, NVIDIA has helped build the gaming market into the world’s largest entertainment industry. 

OSU President Jayathi Murthy said the university is thrilled by the philanthropy and the Huangs’ commitment to advancing research discovery and problem-solving. 

“The Jen-Hsun and Lori Huang Collaborative Innovation Complex at Oregon State University will be much more than a building. It will serve as a university-wide promise and as a hub for advancing groundbreaking solutions for the betterment of humanity, the environment and the economy,” she said. 

The center will host team-based research in artificial intelligence, materials science and robotics to solve global challenges in areas such as climate science, oceanography, sustainability and water resources. 

“The center will be a dynamic place where creative, driven faculty, students and partners from business and other universities come together to solve critical challenges facing the state, nation and world,” Murthy stated. 

The center is part of OSU’s efforts to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in STEM education and research. 

The Huangs met while they were undergraduates at OSU’s College of Engineering. They said it was at OSU that they discovered their love for computer science. 

“We hope this gift will help inspire future generations of students also to fall in love with technology and its capacity to change the world,” said Jen-Hsun and Lori Huang. 

In a statement, they said artificial intelligence is the most transformative technology of our time. 

“To harness this force, engineering students need access to a supercomputer, a time machine, to accelerate their research. This new AI supercomputer will enable OSU students and researchers to make very important advances in climate science, oceanography, materials science, robotics, and other fields,” they said. 

The center will house an NVIDIA supercomputer to support faculty in addressing highly complex and challenging computational problems. The supercomputer is expected to be among the fastest university supercomputers in the world. 

It will be powerful enough to train the largest AI models and perform complex digital twin simulations. 

Water used to cool the supercomputer will help heat more than 500,000 square feet of building space on OSU’s campus. 

The complex will include laboratories for materials scientists, environmental researchers and others throughout the university, as well as an extended-reality theater, robotics and drone playground, and a do-it-yourself maker space. 

Scott Ashford, dean of OSU’s College of Engineering, said the people who work in the complex may design sensors that could be used to monitor hard-to-track endangered species and then use artificial intelligence to analyze the data gathered. 

During the 2023 Oregon legislative session, OSU plans to request $75 million in state-paid bonding to match philanthropic and university contributions for the collaborative innovation complex. 

OSU expects the complex will cost $200 million in total. 

The university and the OSU Foundation will also seek additional donations from the public and private sectors to cover the cost of equipment, faculty support and research programs. 

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown both praised OSU’s plans for how it could potentially support the state’s semiconductor industry. 

The Huangs’ gift was announced Friday night at the second university-wide fundraising and engagement campaign.