NVIDIA Co-founder and CEO Jensen Huang rarely disappoints his audience nor his investors. This week he once again delivered the goods at the European GPU Technology Conference. Announcing a broad range of hardware and software innovations, Jensen made it clear that he intends to reshape computation, from GPUs to CPUs to NICs and switches. So, let’s dive into Jensen’s goody bag and see how he plans to shape the market and NVIDIA’s future.
NVIDIA DPU Smart NIC
NVIDIA led off with a new NIC from the Mellanox division. Setting the stage for a reimagining of the server, NVIDIA added multi-core Arm CPUs and AI acceleration to the staid Network Interface Card (NIC). Smart NICs have been around for a while, but have yet to reach broad-scale adoption outside a few hyperscale cloud providers. However, as networking becomes the new bottleneck for moving massive data sets (and the lynchpin for data center security), NVIDIA sees an opportunity to augment the NIC with far more processing power. This could potentially alter the data center landscape significantly. By offloading much of the work usually done by server CPUs, the Data Processing Unit (DPU) can create a new platform of high-performance processing, and leverage the GPU’s AI capabilities into the networking market. If NVIDIA can gain traction here, this move could effectively capture some of the revenues currently going to CPU vendors, shifting that spend to more capable, presumably higher-margin Smart NICs. Said another way, NVIDIA is freeing up cycles on the server cores, which allows it to focus on the application that will process the data, instead of spending time unpacking TPC/IP headers and acting as a firewall.
Super Micro Computer (NASDAQ:SMCI) announces its attention to support Nvidia’s new BlueField-2 DPUs, which are sampling now.
SMCI will conduct an “aggressive certification program for the DPUs, encompassing a broad range of SMCI systems.
Availability is expected in 2021.
“Supermicro is NVIDIA’s close technology collaborator and is ready to deliver end to end cloud solutions, and edge using NVIDIA DPUs. Leveraging Supermicro’s well known rapid time-to-market capabilities, we expect to offer many of the industry’s first systems incorporating the BlueField-2 DPU to boost performance on all accelerated workloads for customers in growing dynamic markets,” says CEO Charles Liang.
Super Micro shares are up 2% AH to $27.30.
Previously: Nvidia unveils new BlueField family of DPUs for data centers (Oct. 05 2020)