Nvidia outlines ‘Age of AI’, unveils next-gen data centre chips
Heralding a new age of artificial intelligence (AI), graphics giant Nvidia has introduced next-gen chips for networking, storage and security, along with major announcements in data centres, edge AI, collaboration tools and healthcare.
Kicking off the GPU Technology Conference, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said on Monday that AI requires a whole reinvention of computing – full-stack rethinking – from chips, to systems, algorithms, tools and the ecosystem.
“Nvidia is a full stack computing company. We love working on extremely hard computing problems that have a great impact on the world — this is right in our wheelhouse,” Huang said.
To run modern data centres, a new kind of processor is needed.
“We call it the data processing unit (DPU).”
The DPU consists of accelerators for networking, storage, security and programmable Arm CPUs to offload the hypervisor, Huang said.
The new Nvidia ‘BlueField 2′ DPU is a programmable processor with powerful Arm cores and acceleration engines for at-line-speed processing for networking, storage and security.
It’s the latest fruit of Nvidia’s acquisition of high-speed interconnect provider Mellanox Technologies, which closed in April.
The company also announced DOCA, its programmable data-centre-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,” Huang said.
Huang also touched on a partnership with VMware, announced last week, to port VMware onto BlueField.
VMware “runs the world’s enterprises — they are the OS platform in 70 per cent of the world’s companies,” Huang explained.
BlueField-2 is sampling now, BlueField-3 is finishing and BlueField-4 is in high gear, Huang informed.
“We are going to bring a ton of technology to networking. In just a couple of years, we’ll span nearly 1,000 times in compute throughput on the DPU”.
Huang announced that Microsoft is adopting NVIDIA AI on Azure to power smart experiences on Microsoft Office, including smart grammar correction and text prediction.
Microsoft Office joins Square, Twitter, eBay, GE Healthcare and Zoox, among other companies, in a broad array of industries using Nvidia GPUs for inference.
Huang announced that Cloudera, a hybrid-cloud data platform that lets customers manage, secure, analyze and learn predictive models from data, will accelerate the Cloudera Data Platform with Nvidia RAPIDS, Nvidia AI and NVIDIA-accelerated Spark.
Nvidia and VMware also announced a second partnership. The companies will create a data center platform that supports GPU acceleration for all three major computing domains today: virtualised, distributed scale-out and composable microservices.
Huang also announced an early access program for a new service called Nvidia Fleet Command.
This new application makes it easy to deploy and manage updates across IoT devices, combining the security and real-time processing capabilities of edge computing with the remote management and ease of software-as-a-service.
Huang also announced Nvisia Maxine, a cloud-native streaming video AI platform for applications like video calls.
To accelerate drug discovery amid the global Covid-19 pandemic, Huang announced NVIDIA Clara Discovery — a state-of-the-art suite of tools for scientists to discover life-saving drugs.
This week’s GTC conference is one of the biggest yet. It features more than 1,000 sessions — 400 more than the last GTC — in 40 topic areas.