Nvidia turns to AI cloud rental to spread new technology

Nvidia turns to AI cloud rental to spread new technology

AI's 'iPhone moment' arrives.

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Nvidia chief executive Jensen Huang on Tuesday laid out the company's plans to make the powerful and expensive supercomputers used to develop AI technologies like ChatGPT available for rent to nearly any business.

While access will not come cheap - US$55,500 (S$74,203) a month for eight of Nvidia's flagship A100 or H100 chips strung together - offering it to a wider swath of business customers could accelerate an AI boom that has driven Nvidia shares up 77 percent this year, making it about five times more valuable than longtime rival Intel.

The Santa Clara, California-based company already dominates the field for artificial intelligence chips and has helped partners like Microsoft build huge systems for ChatGPT creator OpenAI's services to answer questions with human-like text and generate images from prompts.

At Nvidia's annual software developer conference on Tuesday, Huang said the company was working with partners such as Oracle to offer access to Nvidia's DGX supercomputers with as many as 32,000 of Nvidia's chips to anyone who can log on with a web browser.

"The iPhone moment of AI has started," Huang said in the virtual keynote address.

Huang said Nvidia was also working with Microsoft and Alphabet to offer its supercomputers, used to create new AI products, as a service.

Nvidia on Tuesday announced new chips and software designed to make products like chatbots much cheaper to operate on a day-to-day basis after they have been created with supercomputers.

Those products "are years ahead of the competition," said Hans Mosesmann, a semiconductors analyst at Rosenblatt Securities.

"Nvidia's leadership on the software side of AI is not only monumental - it is accelerating."

Nvidia is also partnering with AT&T to make dispatching trucks more efficient, collaborating with quantum computing researchers to speed software development, and working with industry giant TSMC to speed up chip development, Huang added.

Nvidia's new rental service, called DGX Cloud, could give many more developers the chance to access tens of thousands of its chips at once. 

Nvidia also launched a service called AI Foundations to help companies train their customized artificial intelligence models. Several major owners of stock image databases plan to use the service, which would avert legal questions about copyright of images used to generate AI content.

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