Nvidia's Blackwell Chip: The Next Leap in AI Technology

Nvidia's Blackwell Chip: The Next Leap in AI Technology

By Staff Writer, 20 March 2024

Nvidia, the leading US chipmaker, has introduced its latest breakthrough in artificial intelligence technology with the unveiling of its newest generation of AI chips. This announcement comes amidst a significant surge in generative AI advancement, as the company aims to fortify its position in this rapidly evolving field.

Dubbed the Blackwell processor, Nvidia's CEO Jensen Huang revealed during the company's GTC conference in San Jose, California, on Monday (March 18th) that this cutting-edge chip will hit the market later in 2024. According to Huang, the Blackwell boasts up to five times the power of its predecessor, the Hopper.

Nvidia claims that the Blackwell is capable of delivering an impressive performance of up to 20 petaflops, dwarfing the Hopper's 4 petaflops. To put this into perspective, a petaflop equals one quadrillion operations per second. The architecture of the Blackwell comprises a staggering 208 billion transistors, compared to the Hopper's 80 billion-plus, enabling support for trillions of parameters crucial for training large language models, the backbone of generative AI technology.

"This is the most advanced GPU in the world in production today. The excitement of Blackwell is really off the charts," Huang exclaimed during his keynote address, emphasizing the significance of graphics processing units (GPUs) in driving AI innovation.

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Known for their superior technical calculations and energy efficiency compared to traditional central processing units (CPUs), GPUs play a pivotal role in powering AI advancements. Nvidia's strategy involves packaging the Blackwell chips into larger configurations, such as the GB200 NVL72 unveiled at the event. This setup comprises 36 CPUs and 72 GPUs, boasting a whopping 720 petaflops of AI power, along with over 3.2 kilometers of cables.

Moreover, Nvidia plans to integrate the Blackwell with its central processing unit, Grace, to enhance overall performance. Huang highlighted the seamless integration of the two chips, stating that they are merged into a single entity to mitigate memory and cache issues. Holding up the Blackwell alongside its predecessor, Huang demonstrated its significantly larger size, emphasizing its enhanced capabilities.

"There's no memory locality issues, no cache issues. It's just one giant chip," Huang remarked, underscoring the transformative potential of Nvidia's latest innovation in driving AI advancements forward.

Source: The National

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