Nvidia jumps forward of itself and divulges next-gen “Rubin” AI chips in keynote tease

Nvidia's CEO Jensen Huang delivers his keystone speech ahead of Computex 2024 in Taipei on June 2, 2024.
Enlarge / Nvidia’s CEO Jensen Huang delivers his keystone speech forward of Computex 2024 in Taipei on June 2, 2024.

On Sunday, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang reached past Blackwell and revealed the corporate’s next-generation AI-accelerating GPU platform throughout his keynote at Computex 2024 in Taiwan. Huang additionally detailed plans for an annual tick-tock-style improve cycle of its AI acceleration platforms, mentioning an upcoming Blackwell Ultra chip slated for 2025 and a subsequent platform referred to as “Rubin” set for 2026.

Nvidia’s knowledge middle GPUs at present energy a big majority of cloud-based AI fashions, corresponding to ChatGPT, in each improvement (coaching) and deployment (inference) phases, and traders are preserving a detailed watch on the corporate, with expectations to maintain that run going.

During the keynote, Huang appeared considerably hesitant to make the Rubin announcement, maybe cautious of invoking the so-called Osborne impact, whereby an organization’s untimely announcement of the subsequent iteration of a tech product eats into the present iteration’s gross sales. “This is the very first time that this subsequent click on as been made,” Huang mentioned, holding up his presentation distant simply earlier than the Rubin announcement. “And I’m unsure but whether or not I’m going to remorse this or not.”

Nvidia Keynote at Computex 2023.

The Rubin AI platform, anticipated in 2026, will use HBM4 (a brand new type of high-bandwidth reminiscence) and NVLink 6 Switch, working at 3,600GBps. Following that launch, Nvidia will launch a tick-tock iteration referred to as “Rubin Ultra.” While Huang didn’t present intensive specs for the upcoming merchandise, he promised price and power financial savings associated to the brand new chipsets.

During the keynote, Huang additionally launched a brand new ARM-based CPU referred to as “Vera,” which will probably be featured on a brand new accelerator board referred to as “Vera Rubin,” alongside one of many Rubin GPUs.

Much like Nvidia’s Grace Hopper structure, which mixes a “Grace” CPU and a “Hopper” GPU to pay tribute to the pioneering laptop scientist of the identical identify, Vera Rubin refers to Vera Florence Cooper Rubin (1928–2016), an American astronomer who made discoveries within the discipline of deep area astronomy. She is finest identified for her pioneering work on galaxy rotation charges, which offered robust proof for the existence of darkish matter.

A calculated danger

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang reveals the
Enlarge / Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang reveals the “Rubin” AI platform for the primary time throughout his keynote at Computex 2024 on June 2, 2024.

Nvidia’s reveal of Rubin isn’t a shock within the sense that almost all large tech firms are repeatedly engaged on follow-up merchandise nicely prematurely of launch, but it surely’s notable as a result of it comes simply three months after the corporate revealed Blackwell, which is barely out of the gate and never but extensively delivery.

At the second, the corporate appears to be comfy leapfrogging itself with new bulletins and catching up later; Nvidia simply introduced that its GH200 Grace Hopper “Superchip,” unveiled one yr in the past at Computex 2023, is now in full manufacturing.

With Nvidia inventory rising and the corporate possessing an estimated 70–95 p.c of the information middle GPU market share, the Rubin reveal is a calculated danger that appears to come back from a spot of confidence. That confidence may transform misplaced if a so-called “AI bubble” pops or if Nvidia misjudges the capabilities of its rivals. The announcement may stem from strain to proceed Nvidia’s astronomical progress in market cap with nonstop guarantees of bettering know-how.

Accordingly, Huang has been desperate to showcase the corporate’s plans to proceed pushing silicon fabrication tech to its limits and extensively broadcast that Nvidia plans to maintain releasing new AI chips at a gradual cadence.

“Our firm has a one-year rhythm. Our fundamental philosophy may be very easy: construct the whole knowledge middle scale, disaggregate and promote to you elements on a one-year rhythm, and we push every part to know-how limits,” Huang mentioned throughout Sunday’s Computex keynote.

Despite Nvidia’s latest market efficiency, the corporate’s run could not proceed indefinitely. With ample cash pouring into the information middle AI area, Nvidia is not alone in creating accelerator chips. Competitors like AMD (with the Instinct sequence) and Intel (with Guadi 3) additionally wish to win a slice of the information middle GPU market away from Nvidia’s present command of the AI-accelerator area. And OpenAI’s Sam Altman is making an attempt to encourage diversified manufacturing of GPU {hardware} that may energy the corporate’s subsequent technology of AI fashions within the years forward.

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