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AI foundries & digital factories will change humankind, NVIDIA CEO says
Wed, 27th Mar 2024

NVIDIA's 2024 GTC Keynote epitomised a leap into the future, with AI standing at the forefront of this monumental shift. Led by the company's visionary founder and CEO, Jensen Huang, the event showcased not just advancements but a transformative vision for technology's role in society.

Jensen Huang, in his welcoming address, underscored the pivotal role of developers and researchers across a spectrum of scientific fields, heralding a collaborative effort that stretches from climate technology to the next generation of 6G radios and autonomous vehicles. He explained that AI will transform a broad swath of industries, illustrating the vast application of accelerated computing far beyond traditional IT realms, encompassing sectors as varied as healthcare, transportation, and energy.

Central to Huang's narrative was the journey of NVIDIA, a tale of ambition and foresight that began in 1993. The evolution of CUDA in 2006 was highlighted as a watershed moment, a testament to NVIDIA's pioneering vision in computing. He explained how the journey of AI started with the breakthrough of AlexNet in 2012, where AI and CUDA first intersected, leading to the unveiling of the DGX-1 in 2016, a cornerstone in AI supercomputing. Fast forward to 2022, and the world witnessed the captivating allure of ChatGPT, igniting a widespread realisation of AI's potential.

Huang's discourse then ventured into the emergence of GenAI, marking the inception of a novel industry. The analogy of the past Industrial Revolution to today's generative AI underscored a parallel transformation, where AI factories are envisaged as the new powerhouses of innovation.

At the heart of Huang's explanation are two mega-trends reshaping the tech landscape: the evolution from general-purpose computing to accelerated computing and the burgeoning capabilities unlocked by GenAI. This transformation, according to Huang, heralds the creation of 'AI factories', specialised data centres not just serving myriad users but singularly focused on generating AI-driven outputs. These factories, much like the power plants of the previous industrial revolution, are pivotal in converting raw data into 'data tokens'—a new, invisible currency of immense value.

NVIDIA and Huang are tackling the practical challenges of packaging this complex technology for widespread use within enterprises. NVIDIA's solution, an 'AI foundry', aims to democratise access to custom AI, enabling companies across various sectors to harness their own internal/personal data to drive innovation.

The keynote seamlessly transitioned into a celebration of NVIDIA's technological ethos, embodied in the Omniverse. This virtual realm, powered by the intersection of graphics, physics, and AI, served as a canvas for limitless creativity and exploration. While many see virtual realities like NVIDIA's Omniverse as something for gamers & consumers, Huang sees a future where our workplaces are all in these virtual realms.

In a captivating revelation, Huang introduced "Blackwell," a monumental leap in GPU technology emblematic of NVIDIA's relentless pursuit of computational excellence. This hardware platform, named after the mathematician David Blackwell, massively accelerates the processing times for Large Language Models (LLMs). Among the many organizations adopting Blackwell are Amazon Web Services, Dell Technologies, Google, Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI, Oracle, Tesla and xAI.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google: “Scaling services like Search and Gmail to billions of users has taught us a lot about managing compute infrastructure. As we enter the AI platform shift, we continue to invest deeply in infrastructure for our own products and services, and for our Cloud customers. We are fortunate to have a longstanding partnership with NVIDIA, and look forward to bringing the breakthrough capabilities of the Blackwell GPU to our Cloud customers and teams across Google, including Google DeepMind, to accelerate future discoveries.”

Andy Jassy, president and CEO of Amazon: “Our deep collaboration with NVIDIA goes back more than 13 years, when we launched the world’s first GPU cloud instance on AWS. Today we offer the widest range of GPU solutions available anywhere in the cloud, supporting the world’s most technologically advanced accelerated workloads. It's why the new NVIDIA Blackwell GPU will run so well on AWS and the reason that NVIDIA chose AWS to co-develop Project Ceiba, combining NVIDIA’s next-generation Grace Blackwell Superchips with the AWS Nitro System's advanced virtualization and ultra-fast Elastic Fabric Adapter networking, for NVIDIA's own AI research and development. Through this joint effort between AWS and NVIDIA engineers, we're continuing to innovate together to make AWS the best place for anyone to run NVIDIA GPUs in the cloud.”

Michael Dell, founder and CEO of Dell Technologies: “Generative AI is critical to creating smarter, more reliable and efficient systems. Dell Technologies and NVIDIA are working together to shape the future of technology. With the launch of Blackwell, we will continue to deliver the next-generation of accelerated products and services to our customers, providing them with the tools they need to drive innovation across industries.”

Demis Hassabis, cofounder and CEO of Google DeepMind: “The transformative potential of AI is incredible, and it will help us solve some of the world’s most important scientific problems. Blackwell’s breakthrough technological capabilities will provide the critical compute needed to help the world’s brightest minds chart new scientific discoveries.”

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Meta: “AI already powers everything from our large language models to our content recommendations, ads, and safety systems, and it's only going to get more important in the future. We're looking forward to using NVIDIA's Blackwell to help train our open-source Llama models and build the next generation of Meta AI and consumer products.”

Satya Nadella, executive chairman and CEO of Microsoft: “We are committed to offering our customers the most advanced infrastructure to power their AI workloads. By bringing the GB200 Grace Blackwell processor to our datacenters globally, we are building on our long-standing history of optimizing NVIDIA GPUs for our cloud, as we make the promise of AI real for organizations everywhere.”

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI: “Blackwell offers massive performance leaps, and will accelerate our ability to deliver leading-edge models. We’re excited to continue working with NVIDIA to enhance AI compute.”

Larry Ellison, chairman and CTO of Oracle: "Oracle’s close collaboration with NVIDIA will enable qualitative and quantitative breakthroughs in AI, machine learning and data analytics. In order for customers to uncover more actionable insights, an even more powerful engine like Blackwell is needed, which is purpose-built for accelerated computing and generative AI.”

Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and xAI: “There is currently nothing better than NVIDIA hardware for AI.”