Nvidia and Microsoft are working to bring a GPU-based, AI-powered supercomputer to the cloud

Looking to the future: Nvidia and Microsoft are working on a virtual supercomputer with GPU-based Azure instances. The design goal is to accelerate the latest AI algorithms to create even more eerily realistic artwork or conduct AI research.

Generative AI models are useful for many applications. Machine learning algorithms can create strange images or predict the source code of the future, often negatively influencing public opinion with their abilities “in the wrong hands”. A new partnership between two of the biggest tech companies promises to accelerate these capabilities, creating an “AI supercomputer” in the cloud.

Nvidia and Microsoft have announced a “multi-year collaboration” to build the world’s most powerful supercomputer specifically designed to serve as an accelerator for AI and machine learning algorithms. The partnership leverages Microsoft’s cloud-based Azure platform against Nvidia’s high-end GPU hardware. Several other components will speed up the whole communication stack.

The hardware part includes “tens of thousands” of Nvidia A100 (Ampere-based) and H100 (Hopper) enterprise GPUs. The cloud-based infrastructure includes Microsoft’s GPU-accelerated ND and NC-series virtual machines. Quantum-2 400Gb/s InfiniBand networking technology and the company’s AI Enterprise software suite bridge the communication device.

Essentially, the new AI supercomputer design works like a cloud service running with Azure instances. Nvidia clarified that customers can acquire resources “as they normally would with a real supercomputer” while the software layer reserves the required virtual machines.

Architecturally, it is the same as a physical supercomputer but runs on virtual machines “in the cloud”. The most obvious advantage is that it does not require a dedicated (and massive) physical device in a research lab. Nonetheless, the capabilities provided will allow companies to scale virtual instances “up to supercomputer status.”

The main goal of the virtual supercomputer is to bring improvements and advancements in generative AI models. This burgeoning field of AI research currently relies on models such as Megatron Turing NLG 530B as the basis for “unsupervised self-learning algorithms to create new text, code, digital images, video or audio” .

Nvidia highlighted how advances in AI technology are accelerating, industry adoption is growing, and breakthroughs in the field have sparked a tidal wave of research, new startups, and applications. of business. The partnership with Microsoft will provide customers and researchers with state-of-the-art AI infrastructure and software to capitalize on the transformative power of AI.

Or, in Microsoft’s own words, powerful AI capabilities “for every business on Microsoft Azure.”

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