Nvidia is running its one of its biggest GTC ever this week, with more than 1,000 sessions covering 40 topic areas. For the first time, the GTC (GPU Technology Conference) is scheduling both live and on-demand sessions in local languages across multiple time zones. The five-day event kicked off with company CEO Jensen Huang once again delivering his keynote from a kitchen.
“This is an amazing time for the computer industry and the world, as the mobile cloud matures, the age of AI is beginning,” beamed an upbeat Huang, who said AI is the “most powerful technology force of our time” and that Nvidia aims to lead. “We love working on extremely hard computing problems that have great impact on the world. This is right in our wheelhouse. We’re all in, to advance and democratize this new form of computing for the age of AI.”
The GTC kicked off with the release of nine Nvidia keynote videos, each under 10 minutes, with major announcements in data centers, edge AI, collaboration tools and healthcare. Highlights include:
Following on last year’s announcement that Nvidia would port CUDA and its scientific computing stack to Arm, Huang revealed Nvidia’s major initiative to advance the Arm platform with investments in three dimensions:
- Nvidia will complement Arm partners with GPU, networking, storage and security technologies to create complete accelerated platforms.
- Nvidia is working with Arm partners to create platforms for HPC, cloud, edge and PC — this requires chips, systems and system software.
- Nvidia is porting the Nvidia AI and Nvidia RTX engines to Arm.
Since Nvidia acquired Mellanox in April, its ambitions and efforts in data centres have drawn a lot of attention. In the fifth keynote video session, Huang introduced the new Nvidia BlueField 2 DPUs and DOCA, its programmable data-center-infrastructure-on-a-chip architecture.
“DOCA SDKs let developers write infrastructure apps for software-defined networking, software-defined storage, cybersecurity, telemetry and in-network computing applications yet to be invented,” said Huang. There are two PCIes based on DOCA architecture in the DPU product line: Nvidia BlueField-2 DPU and Nvidia BlueField-2X DPU.
Huang also introduced Nvidia’s DPU three-year roadmap.
In the Edge Computing keynote video, Huang introduced the Nvidia EGX AI platform, which he said can help global enterprises to quickly stand up a state-of-the-art edge-AI server. Huang also announced that the EGX platform is expanding to combine the Nvidia Ampere architecture GPU and BlueField-2 DPU on a single PCIe card, and introduced an early access program for the Nvidia Fleet Command news service, a new application designed to help enterprises deploy and manage updates across IoT devices.
Huang also introduced the Jetson Nano 2GB, the latest member in the NVIDIA Jetson AI computer family. Jetson Nano 2GB will be released by the end of this month at US$59, roughly half the US$99 price of last year’s Jetson Nano Developer Kit.
Omniverse, Nvidia’s platform of collaboration tools first introduced in March 2019, is now open beta. Huang said the platform “allows designers, artists, creators and even AIs using different tools, in different worlds, to connect in a common world—to collaborate, to create a world together. Omniverse is even a world where AI agents are created and learn. A simulator for robots.”
Huang also announced Nvidia MAxine, a cloud-native streaming video AI platform designed to enhance user experience in video-related applications such as conference calls and social or virtual events.
Under the global COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare has become a critical topic. To help accelerate the study of disease, Huang outlined Nvidia’s efforts to build Cambridge-1, UK’s fastest supercomputer, that will pack 400 petaflops of AI performance, making it among the world’s top 30 fastest supercomputers. With an investment budget of some £40 million, Nvidia plans to bring online Cambridge-1 by the end of this year.
Nvidia also announced a partnership with GSK to build the world’s first AI drug discovery lab.
Huang’s kitchen schtick started as a gag, but continues to support the fact that Nvidia’s got a lot cooking for this new age of AI. The company’s vision and ambitions were further reflected in other GTC keynote videos such as Everything that Moves will be Autonomous and Trillions of Intelligent Things.
The NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference (GTC) runs October 5 to 9.
Analyst: Victor Lu | Editor: Michael Sarazen; Fangyu Cai
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