Japanese electronics giant Sharp was connected with its second AI data centre move in the space of a few days, with SoftBank Corp revealing the pair struck a memorandum of understanding (MoU) covering the construction of a facility at an LCD plant in the Osaka prefecture.

SoftBank stated the companies negotiated access to Sharp land and buildings in the region, which it aims to use to construct an AI data centre with a floor area of 750,000 meters and power capacity of more than 150 megawatts.

The facility will cover around 440,000 square metres, about 60 per cent of Sharp’s existing plant. SoftBank stated it aims to begin operating the data centre in 2025 and would look to up the power capacity to at least 400 megawatts over time.

It will explore the potential to use clean energy sources to mitigate the environmental impact.

SoftBank stated it plans to employ the data centre to develop generative AI and related businesses. It also intends to offer the space to “universities, research institutions, businesses and others”.

The operator added the MoU could also pave the way for collaboration with Sharp on relevant AI businesses in future.

SoftBank released details of its MoU a few days after Sharp revealed it is in talks with rival Japanese operator KDDI, Super Micro Computer and Datasection regarding another AI data centre.

Sharp stated the need for such sites is growing due to the swift pace of development of AI technology and the associated hike in the volume of data being processed by it.

It noted procuring “state-of-the-art computing equipment”; developing cooling systems; and “securing electric power and space” as the three main challenges in developing AI data centres, tasks it explained are more easily addressed through broad partnerships.