Nvidia and Microsoft are teaming up to build a massive AI cloud computer

On Wednesday, Nvidia announced a collaboration with Microsoft to build a “massive” AI-focused cloud computer. It would use tens of thousands of high-end Nvidia GPUs for applications such as deep learning and large language models. The companies aim to make it one of the most powerful AI supercomputers in the world.

In turn, the new supercomputer will feature thousands of units of what is arguably the world’s most powerful GPU, the Hopper H100, which Nvidia launched in October. Nvidia will also provide its second most powerful GPU, the A100, and will use its Quantum-2 InfiniBand networking platform, which can transfer data at 400 gigabits per second between servers, linking them together in a powerful cluster.

Meanwhile, Microsoft will bring its Azure cloud infrastructure and ND and NC-series virtual machines. Nvidia’s AI Enterprise platform will tie it all together. The companies will also collaborate on DeepSpeed, Microsoft’s deep learning optimization software.

In a statement, Nvidia mentioned the applications that the common supercomputer could serve:

“As part of the collaboration, Nvidia will use Azure’s scalable virtual machine instances to research and further accelerate advances in generative AI, a burgeoning field of AI in which fundamental models such as Megatron Turing NLG 530B are the basis of unsupervised self-learning algorithms. to create new text, code, digital images, video or audio.”

The past year has seen a rapid rise in generative AI models such as Stable Diffusion and DALL-E that can synthesize new images on demand. Similar models have emerged that can create videos, synthesize voices, and do transcription, among other uses. As computing demand increases for generative AI, Nvidia and Microsoft intend to be there to meet it.

Once Nvidia and Microsoft’s cloud computer is online, customers can deploy thousands of GPUs in a single cluster to “train even the most massive large language models, build the most complex recommender systems at large scale and enable generative AI at scale,” according to Nvidia. .

The companies didn’t provide details on when the new supercomputer will be ready, but said the announcement marks the start of a “multi-year collaboration.” It is likely that the capacity of the cloud computer will increase over time.

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