Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Chipmakers Battle To Power Artificial Intelligence In Cloud Data Centers" (AMD; NVDA; XLNX; INTC)

From Investor's Business Daily, May 14:
Cloud computing firms are driving large investments in artificial intelligence and major chipmakers like Nvidia (NVDA) are competing to provide the tech backbone for AI services, a Wall Street research firm said Monday.

Nvidia has been an early winner in the field, CFRA Research analyst Angelo Zino says. But don't count out other chipmakers, he adds.

"While we see different technologies succeeding in an AI world, graphic processors appear to clearly have the most staying power given early success," Zino said in a note to clients. "We also view fears of cloud providers designing their own processors for AI as overblown."

Graphics chip maker Nvidia has captured much of the attention in the artificial intelligence space. It offers an end-to-end computing platform using graphics processing units (GPUs). Plus, its systems are used for deep learning, addressing both training and inferencing, Zino said.

"We continue to see Nvidia's Volta architecture in a dominant position for most training applications in the cloud over the next couple of years," he said. "Since the start of 2017, GPUs have sped up training of deep neural networks by as much as 12x."

Other Contenders In The Race
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is Nvidia's top rival in graphics processing units. AMD has the ability to sell both GPUs and central processing units (CPUs) to data-center customers. That could give it a "competitive advantage long-term," Zino said.

Intel (INTC) leads in the business of providing CPUs for servers in data centers. It's now developing complementary technologies using memory and programmable chips, he said.
Xilinx (XLNX), a maker of field-programmable gate arrays, could grow to be a significant player in chips for artificial intelligence, Zino said.

"While revenue related to AI remains negligible for the company, we believe Xilinx's programmable chips will see increased opportunities related to machine learning/real-time deep learning in the data center," Zino said....

Previously on data center chips:
NVIDIA Wants to Run Your City: Smart City Control Centers (NVDA)

UPDATED—NVIDIA Wants to Be the Brains Behind the Surveillance State (NVDA)
The company just rolled out a $399,000 two-petaflop supercomputer that every little totalitarian and his brother is going to lust after to run their surveillance-city smart-city data slurping dreams.
The coming municipal data centers will end up matching the NSA in total storage capacity and NVIDIA wants to be the one sifting through it all. More on this down the road, for now here's the beast....  
"Can Chinese AI Chip Makers Compete with Nvidia?" (NVDA)

"SoftBank is in talks to invest in data storage company Cohesity at a $1 billion valuation" 

Ahead of Today's NVIDIA Earnings: A Look at One of the Competitors (GOOG; NVDA)
As noted in last month's ""UPDATED—NVIDIA Wants to Be the Brains Behind the Surveillance State (NVDA)" there is so much power running through theTSU's and  GPU's that even the most energy-efficient require water-cooling.
Brave new world....