NVIDIA's 2024 GTC Announcements: GR00t, Blackwell AI, and Moreby@kseniase
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NVIDIA's 2024 GTC Announcements: GR00t, Blackwell AI, and More

by Ksenia SeMarch 19th, 2024
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NVIDIA announced new developments in all of those areas at their annual GTC conference. Their gaming plan has spread across accelerated computing, [generative AI], industry applications, automotive, enterprise platforms, Omniverse, and robotics. NVIDIA DRIVE Thor is an in-vehicle computing platform architected for generative AI applications.
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I remember the feeling of getting a new video card with a more powerful GPU for my PC. Everyone at school would be jealous, and you knew — the best games were at your disposal now. That’s what NVIDIA is in my mind — making the best games possible. With their strategic advance into all things AI, that’s what they’re doing again: making the best games — in reality now! — possible. Their gaming plan has spread across accelerated computing, generative AI, industry applications, automotive, enterprise platforms, Omniverse, and robotics.

Today, at their annual GTC conference, they announced new developments in all of those areas. Covering them all would be impossible in one newsletter, but that’s what stands out for me:

AI-driven self-driving cars as intelligent companions

Tesla is already a giant iPhone, meaning it’s more a device than a car. NVIDIA is following the same idea: helping to create cars that are defined by software.

A few leading Chinese transportation companies are adopting NVIDIA DRIVE Thor — an in-vehicle computing platform architected for generative AI applications, delivering four times the performance of its predecessor. With up to a thousand trillion operations per second, it’s equipped to handle a diverse array of AI workloads, setting the stage for safer autonomous driving. And though the industry is currently navigating through various levels of assisted driving (Levels 2 and 3), the hardware and software are designed to evolve, allowing vehicles equipped with NVIDIA technology today to reach higher levels of autonomy as software and regulations evolve. Thanks to implemented genAI you will be able to talk to your car. And the car could answer back.

Chinese automakers are indeed fast in adopting NVIDIA technologies — which raises some questions from the media; that’s due to incentives, regulations favoring innovation, and a strategic focus on new vehicle architectures that prioritize centralized computing and AI. But NVIDIA also assured us at a press briefing that engagement with Western automakers continued robustly, with mentions of ongoing projects with Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover.

NVIDIA announces GR00T and Omniverse (a digital twin ecosystem)

  • Omniverse, NVIDIA’s platform for creating and deploying digital twins, marks a significant milestone in industrial digitalization. By facilitating the integration of physical and virtual worlds, it allows industries to simulate, optimize, and execute operations with unprecedented efficiency. The introduction of Omniverse Cloud APIs extends these capabilities, promising a transformative impact across various sectors, including automotive, robotics, and beyond.

  • NVIDIA’s Isaac robotics platform represents a leap in robotics and AI, catering to both runtime and AI training for robots. With advancements like project GR00T and Isaac Manipulator, NVIDIA is enabling a new generation of robotics development, emphasizing large, multimodal models for a future where robots are more versatile and capable than ever before.

And a few more technical announcements:

Nvidia Blackwell GPU — a cutting-edge advancement designed to power the next generation of AI with 20 petaflops of performance. This GPU represents a quantum leap in AI capabilities, aiming to democratize access to trillion-parameter models.

Key Features:

  • Dual-Die Architecture: Combines two of the largest dies achievable, linked by a high-bandwidth NVLink, ensuring seamless operation as a unified architecture.
  • Second-Generation Transformer Engines: Enhances AI computations to achieve unprecedented efficiency, enabling operations in just four bits of precision.
  • Performance: Delivers four times the training performance and 30 times the inference performance of its predecessor, with 25 times better energy efficiency.

NVLink Switch 7.2 TI — a new generation interconnect technology, which addresses the bottleneck of data exchange. It is designed to facilitate communication between GPUs at a scale suitable for the most advanced AI models.

Key Features:

  • High Throughput: Offers 18 times faster throughput compared to previous solutions, enabling efficient scaling for trillion-parameter models.
  • Enhanced Communication: Facilitates a new level of data exchange efficiency among GPUs, crucial for complex AI model training and inference.
  • New GB 272 Computing Platform features 72 Blackwell GPUs. It showcases Nvidia’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of data center capabilities.

NVIDIA NIM — a new software product aimed at simplifying the deployment of generative AI within enterprise environments. It packages models with optimized inference engines and supports a wide range of GPU architectures. They call it AI package for all.

Key Features:

  • Containerized Microservice: Bundles AI models into a deployable container, facilitating easy deployment and scalability across various environments.
  • Support for Custom and Open Models: Accommodates a diverse range of AI models, including proprietary and open-source, ensuring flexibility and control over intellectual property.
  • Standardized APIs: Offers industry-standard APIs, enabling seamless integration with existing enterprise systems and processes.

From SemiAnalysis: “Nvidia is on top of the world. They have supreme pricing power right now despite hyperscaler silicon ramping. Everyone simply has to take what Nvidia is feeding them with a silver spoon.”

If there’s ever a course about the greatest tech CEOs, Jensen Huang will definitely be on the list. His idea of continuously leveraging GPU technology to accelerate computing across a myriad of domains has fundamentally changed how we interact with technology. It’s enabled breakthroughs that were once considered science fiction, and that’s how NVIDIA hit a $2 trillion valuation. Under Hueng’s supervision, we’re all following NVIDIA’s game plan.

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