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Nvidia chases $30 billion custom chip market with new unit

Nvidia chases $30 billion custom chip market with new unit

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Nvidia chases $30 billion custom chip market with new unit

Nvidia (NVDA.O), opens new tab is building a new business unit focused on designing bespoke chips for cloud computing firms and others, including advanced artificial intelligence processors, according to nine sources familiar with the company’s plans.

The dominant global designer and supplier of AI chips aims to capture a portion of an exploding market for custom AI chips and to protect itself from the growing number of companies interested in finding alternatives to its products.

The Santa Clara, California-based company currently controls about 80% of the market for high-end AI chips, a position that has sent its market value up 40% so far this year to $1.73 trillion after it more than tripled in 2023.

Its customers, which include ChatGPT creator OpenAI, Microsoft (MSFT.O), opens new tab, Alphabet (GOOGL.O), opens new tab and Meta Platforms (META.O), opens new tab, have raced to snap up the dwindling supply of Nvidia chips to compete in the rapidly emerging generative AI sector.

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Nvidia’s H100 and A100 chips serve as a generalized, all-purpose AI processor for many of those major customers. But the tech companies have started to develop their own internal chips for specific needs. Doing so helps reduce energy consumption, and potentially can shrink the cost and time to design.

Nvidia is now attempting to play a role in helping these companies develop custom AI chips that have flowed to rival firms such as Broadcom (AVGO.O), opens new tab and Marvell Technology (MRVL.O), opens new tab, according to the sources who declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

“If you’re really trying to optimize on things like power, or optimize on cost for your application, you can’t afford to go drop an H100 or A100 in there,” Greg Reichow, general partner at venture capital firm Eclipse Ventures said in an interview. “You want to have the exact right mixture of compute and just the kind of compute that you need.”

Nvidia does not disclose H100 prices, which are higher than for the prior-generation A100, but each chip can sell from $16,000 to $100,000 depending on the volume purchased and other factors. Meta has said it plans to bring its total stock to 350,000 H100s this year.

Nvidia officials have met with representatives from Amazon.com (AMZN.O), opens new tab, Meta, Microsoft, Google and OpenAI to discuss making custom chips for them, according to two sources familiar with the meetings. Beyond data center chips, the company has pursued telecom, automotive and video game customers.

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In 2022, Nvidia said it would let third-party customers integrate some of its proprietary networking technology with their own chips. The company has said nothing about the program since, and Reuters is reporting its wider ambitions for the first time.

A Nvidia spokesperson declined to comment beyond the company’s 2022 announcement.

Dina McKinney, a former Advanced Micro Devices (AMD.O), opens new tab and Marvell executive, heads Nvidia’s custom unit and her team’s goal is to make its technology available for customers in cloud, 5G wireless, video games and automotives, according to a LinkedIn profile. Those mentions were scrubbed and her title was changed after Reuters sought comment from Nvidia.

Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Meta and OpenAI declined to comment.

$30 BILLION MARKET

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According to estimates from research firm 650 Group’s Alan Weckel, the data center custom chip market will grow to as much as $10 billion this year, and double that in 2025.

The broader custom chip market was worth roughly $30 billion in 2023, which amounts to roughly 5% of annual global chip sales, according to Needham analyst Charles Shi.

Currently, custom silicon design for data centers is dominated by Broadcom and Marvell.

In a typical arrangement, a design partner such as Nvidia would offer intellectual property and technology, but leave the chip fabrication, packaging and additional steps to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (2330.TW), opens new tab or another contract chip manufacturer.

Nvidia moving into this territory has the potential to eat into Broadcom and Marvell sales.

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“With Broadcom’s custom silicon business touching $10 billion, and Marvell’s around $2 billion, this is a real threat,” said Dylan Patel, founder of the silicon research group SemiAnalysis. “It’s a real big negative – there’s more competition entering the fray.”

BEYOND AI

Nvidia is in talks with telecom infrastructure builder Ericsson (ERICb.ST), opens new tab for a wireless chip that includes the chip designer’s graphics processing unit (GPU) technology, according to two sources familiar with the talks.

650 Group’s Weckle expects the telecom custom chip market to remain flat at roughly $4 billion to $5 billion a year.
Ericsson declined to comment.

Nvidia also plans to target the automotive and video game markets, according to sources and public social media postings.

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Weckel expects the custom auto market to grow consistently from its current $6 billion to $8 billion range at 20% a year, and the $7 billion to $8 billion video game custom chip market could increase with the next-generation consoles from Xbox and Sony (6857.T), opens new tab.

Nintendo’s current Switch handheld console already includes an Nvidia chip, the Tegra X1. A new version of the Switch console expected this year is likely to include a Nvidia custom design, according to one source.

Nintendo declined to comment. 

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WhatsApp unveils new text formatting feature for enhanced communication

WhatsApp unveils new text formatting feature for enhanced communication

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WhatsApp unveils new text formatting feature for enhanced communication

WhatsApp has unveiled a groundbreaking feature that revolutionizes text messaging by allowing users to customize their messages like never before.

Prior to this update, users were limited to basic text modifications such as bold and italic; however, the new feature introduces a plethora of formatting options, including numbers, bullets, block quotes, and text highlighting.

The process is simple and intuitive, requiring users to incorporate specific symbols to achieve their desired text format. For monospacing text, users can enclose their message with three backticks on both sides. Adding a quote is as easy as placing an angle bracket and a space before the text.

To strike through a message, users need to flank their text with tilde symbols, while bolding requires asterisks on both sides. One of the standout additions is the ability to create bulleted lists effortlessly. Users can precede each word or sentence with an asterisk or hyphen and a space to generate a neatly organized list.

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Moreover, numbering and spacing at the beginning of text with “1.” facilitates the creation of itemized lists, enhancing the overall clarity and structure of messages.

Inline code can now be seamlessly integrated into messages by enclosing the text with backtick symbols at the start and end. This provides users with a practical way to share code snippets or emphasize specific phrases within their conversations.

The accompanying image showcases the versatility of this new feature, illustrating the various formatting options available to users. WhatsApp users across iOS, Android, and web devices can now leverage this advanced text formatting feature to elevate their communication experience.

The update reflects WhatsApp’s commitment to continually enhance user experience and foster more expressive and organized conversations. Whether you’re conveying information, emphasizing key points, or sharing code snippets, the new formatting options provide a dynamic and engaging communication platform for users worldwide. 

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Meta to set up team to counter disinformation, AI abuse in EU elections

Meta to set up team to counter disinformation, AI abuse in EU elections

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Meta to set up team to counter disinformation, AI abuse in EU elections

 Facebook owner Meta will set up a team to tackle disinformation and the abuse of generative artificial intelligence in the run-up to European Parliament elections in June amid concerns about election interference and misleading AI-generated content.

The rapid growth of generative AI, which can create text, images and video in seconds in response to prompts, has triggered fears that the new technology could be used to disrupt major elections, across the world this year. 

European Parliament elections will take place June 6-9. Its 720 lawmakers, together with EU governments, pass new EU policies and laws.

“As the election approaches, we’ll activate an Elections Operations Center to identify potential threats and put mitigations in place in real time,” Marco Pancini, Meta’s head of EU affairs, said in a blogpost.

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He said experts from the company’s intelligence, data science, engineering, research, operations, content policy and legal teams will focus on combating misinformation, tackling influence operations and counter the risks related to the abuse of generative AI.

Meta, which currently works with 26 independent fact-checking organisations across the European Union covering 22 languages, will add three new partners in Bulgaria, France, and Slovakia, Pancini said.

Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI and 17 other tech companies earlier this month agreed to work together to prevent deceptive artificial-intelligence content from interfering with elections across the globe this year.

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‘X’ faces prolonged suspension across Pakistan

‘X’ faces prolonged suspension across Pakistan

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'X' faces prolonged suspension across Pakistan

The popular microblogging site ‘X,’ formerly known as Twitter, has been inaccessible across Pakistan for over a week. 

Despite a brief interval when the site was accessible, users are now reporting a persistent outage, even when using Virtual Private Network (VPN) services.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the government agency responsible for overseeing telecommunications, hasn’t released any official statement regarding the suspension of the service.

This lack of transparency has only intensified the frustration among users who heavily rely on ‘X’ for information and news updates. Users who initially turned to VPNs as a workaround have also hit a roadblock, as the microblogging site remains inaccessible. 

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The situation has raised concerns about the government’s stance on digital freedom and freedom of speech. The outage has not gone unnoticed by the public, with many expressing their discontent on various platforms. 

Criticism has been directed towards the government and the IT minister for what is perceived as an attack on freedom of speech and a hindrance to the revenue generated by the country’s thriving IT professionals.

Earlier, the Sindh High Court issued a directive to restore access to ‘X’ across Pakistan, recognising the site’s significance for information dissemination. However, despite court’s order, there has been no implementation, leaving users and advocates of digital freedom in a state of dismay.

The suspension of ‘X’ has broader implications, impacting not only the general public but also businesses and professionals who rely on the platform for communication, networking, and staying informed about the latest developments. The longer the outage persists, the more severe the consequences may be for the nation’s digital landscape.

As the public awaits an official statement from the PTA and the government, concerns about the potential ramifications of such a prolonged suspension continue to grow.

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