UPDATE: Nvidia strikes deals for AI-focused chips with Chinese tech giants
By Max A. Cherney
At GTC China, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announces cloud and server partnerships with an AI focus
Nvidia Corp. Chief Executive Jensen Huang announced Monday night that the company will be supplying its artificial intelligence-focused GPU hardware to several of China's largest cloud-computing providers and server-hardware manufacturers, as well as new partnerships with server-hardware makers.
"AI is the most important technology development of our time, with the greatest potential to help society," Huang said in a statement. "As the world's leading cloud providers deploy the world's best AI platform, with Volta GPUs and Nvidia software, we'll see amazing breakthroughs in medicine, autonomous transportation, precision manufacturing and much more."
Huang made the announcement at Nvidia's (NVDA) GTC China conference in Beijing. The company's stock plunged 4.47% during the regular session Monday to $171, amid a broad selloff of blue-chip tech companies (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-close-lower-as-tech-shares-sell-off-2017-09-25).
Read:Intel seen losing to Nvidia amid 'tectonic shift' in technology (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/intel-seen-losing-to-nvidia-amid-tectonic-shift-in-technology-2017-07-10)
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) , Baidu Inc. (BIDU) and Tencent Holdings Ltd. (0700.HK) are upgrading their data centers with Nvidia's Volta-based platforms, which revolve around the V100 data center GPU, the company said in a statement. The chip has 21 billion transistors and offers five times the performance over the Pascal-based chips the Chinese firms currently have deployed, and the deal is similar to partnerships Nvidia has with U.S. cloud-computing providers.
In recent years, Nvidia has made large bets on artificial intelligence and cloud computing (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nvidia-surges-as-ai-drives-deeper-into-the-cloud-2017-05-09), seeking, in part, to expand beyond its bread-and-butter gaming business, which often experiences seasonal fluctuations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/nvidia-earnings-can-ai-powered-businesses-make-up-for-gaming-slowdown-2017-05-08). In the second quarter, Nvidia's data-center business grew 175% to $416 million, up from $151 million in the year-earlier period.