NVIDIA unveils Blackwell architecture to power next GenAI wave 

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NVIDIA has announced its next-generation Blackwell GPU architecture, designed to usher in a new era of accelerated computing and enable organisations to build and run real-time generative AI on trillion-parameter large language models.

The Blackwell platform promises up to 25 times lower cost and energy consumption compared to its predecessor: the Hopper architecture. Named after pioneering mathematician and statistician David Harold Blackwell, the new GPU architecture introduces six transformative technologies.

“Generative AI is the defining technology of our time. Blackwell is the engine to power this new industrial revolution,” said Jensen Huang, Founder and CEO of NVIDIA. “Working with the most dynamic companies in the world, we will realise the promise of AI for every industry.”

The key innovations in Blackwell include the world’s most powerful chip with 208 billion transistors, a second-generation Transformer Engine to support double the compute and model sizes, fifth-generation NVLink interconnect for high-speed multi-GPU communication, and advanced engines for reliability, security, and data decompression.

Central to Blackwell is the NVIDIA GB200 Grace Blackwell Superchip, which combines two B200 Tensor Core GPUs with a Grace CPU over an ultra-fast 900GB/s NVLink interconnect. Multiple GB200 Superchips can be combined into systems like the liquid-cooled GB200 NVL72 platform with up to 72 Blackwell GPUs and 36 Grace CPUs, offering 1.4 exaflops of AI performance.

NVIDIA has already secured support from major cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to offer Blackwell-powered instances. Other partners planning Blackwell products include Dell Technologies, Meta, Microsoft, OpenAI, Oracle, Tesla, and many others across hardware, software, and sovereign clouds.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet and Google, said: “We are fortunate to have a longstanding partnership with NVIDIA, and look forward to bringing the breakthrough capabilities of the Blackwell GPU to our Cloud customers and teams across Google to accelerate future discoveries.”

The Blackwell architecture and supporting software stack will enable new breakthroughs across industries from engineering and chip design to scientific computing and generative AI.

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder and CEO of Meta, commented: “AI already powers everything from our large language models to our content recommendations, ads, and safety systems, and it’s only going to get more important in the future.

“We’re looking forward to using NVIDIA’s Blackwell to help train our open-source Llama models and build the next generation of Meta AI and consumer products.”

With its massive performance gains and efficiency, Blackwell could be the engine to finally make real-time trillion-parameter AI a reality for enterprises.

See also: Elon Musk’s xAI open-sources Grok

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