Long a star in the videogame world because of its high-performance graphics-handling computer chips, Nvidia technology is now coveted by companies investing in artificial intelligence
Nvidia wants to drive AI's development forward lightyears with a new supercomputer developing in Israel. AFP

With the introduction of a new generative artificial intelligence cloud supercomputer, Nvidia, one the world's leading computer graphics chip companies, is aiming to accelerate the global infrastructure of AI.

The question now stands; how will such a supercomputer affect the development of AI and its potential impact on the industry? Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA) wants to solidify its position as a major player in shaping the future of AI.

The emergence of AI is transforming technology and revolutionizing entire industries such as healthcare, finance, manufacturing, transportation and even the media. The ability of those new systems to analyze vast datasets, learn from patterns, and make informed decisions has unlocked new possibilities for innovation and efficiency.

Nvidia now aims to drive AI's development forward by light years.

Nvidia established itself as a leader in AI technology, particularly through its graphics processing units (GPUs) that excelled in processing large-scale parallel computations. The company's GPUs have become instrumental in training and running AI models, enabling breakthroughs in deep learning, computer vision, and natural language processing.

Thanks to the growing demand for microchips adapted to AI, this year Nvidia joined the exclusive club of companies traded at over $1 trillion market cap, including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), and Google-parent company, Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG).

In 2019, the company entered the Israeli high-tech market with the acquisition of Mellanox Technologies Ltd. for $7.38 Billion — outbidding Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) — and adding 1,000 Israeli employees to it roster.

Rather than shutting down the company, Nvidia made a strategic commitment to expand its operations in the country. Today, Israel accounts for 12% of Nvidia's research and development activities and is the firm's largest outside the U.S. workforce, according to reports in Israeli media.

It will cost Nvidia hundreds of millions of dollars to build its Israel-1, cloud-based supercomputer, with at least partially operational capabilities by 2024. The firm is reportedly working with 800 startups in the Jewish state and tens of thousands of software engineers to make that deadline.

The new system will have 8 exFLOPS of performance, thus making it one of the world's fastest AI supercomputers. An exaflop measures the ability to perform 1 quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) calculations per second.

Israel-1 is also expected to deliver peak performance of more than 130 petaflops – the ability to perform 100 trillion operations per second – for traditional scientific computing workloads. It will be equipped with a data processing unit (DPU) called Bluefield-3, that was also developed in Israel.

Israel has emerged as a global hub of technological innovation, particularly in the field of AI. The country's startup ecosystem, research institutions, and highly skilled workforce have already fostered an environment conducive to many tech breakthroughs and lured big high-tech cooperation's into the market by buying up local companies.

Among them are Intel, which bought Jerusalem-based Mobileye for $15.3 billion in 2017; Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), which purchased NDS for $5 billion in 2012; Alphabet, which acquired Waze for $1.1 billion in 2013; and even PepsiCo Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), which nabbed SodaStream for $3.2 billion in 2018.

Israel-1's exceptional computing power, coupled with Nvidia's Spectrum-X networking platform, positions itself at the forefront of AI infrastructure, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in AI research, development, and deployment.

The Nvidia supercomputer will solidify Israel's position as a global AI hub, attracting more foreign investments and fostering continued growth in the country's AI sector.

"AI is the most important technology in our lifetime," Gilad Shainer, a senior vice president at Nvidia, said in a May interview with Reuters.

"Generative AI is going everywhere nowadays. You need to be able to run training on large datasets," Shainer said. "Our system is a large-scale system that will enable training much quicker, to build frameworks, and build solutions that can tackle more complex problems."

Israel-1 is being built upon Nvidia's Spectrum-X networking platform. This platform addresses the challenges posed by AI cloud systems, which require ultra-fast computing performance and massive memory. The Spectrum-X platform enables data centers worldwide to transition to AI and accelerated computing, creating a new class of Ethernet connections optimized for a world of AI.

The rise of generative AI applications and the demand for large-scale training on massive datasets have presented challenges for AI cloud systems. Israel-1 addresses these challenges by providing high-performance computing power and efficient data processing. This enables accelerated training and advanced problem-solving for complex applications.

Israel-1 is poised to be one of the world's fastest AI supercomputers, delivering exceptional performance in terms of processing power and computational speed. Its ability to perform at a scale of eight exaflops and carry out 130 petaflops for traditional scientific computing workloads signifies a leap forward in AI infrastructure. It has the potential of pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the field today.

Providing a blueprint testbed for joint development with partners worldwide, Nvidia's Ethernet-AI cloud will serve as reference platform by sharing insights, knowledge, and expertise.

With Israel-1, Nvidia aims to foster collaboration and drive innovation across the AI ecosystem, which will accelerate the development and deployment of solutions, benefiting industries and organizations globally. Tasks that once required considerable time and resources can now be accomplished more efficiently, allowing researchers and data scientists to explore new frontiers in AI. Israel-1's capabilities are laying the groundwork for tackling increasingly complex challenges of AI-driven solutions.

AI, which is powered by algorithms that create and generate new content, is revolutionizing industries such as media, entertainment, and design. Israel-1's advanced computing capabilities provide the foundation for training and deploying AI models, which one day soon will have the abilities to transform industries, enabling new forms of content creation, personalization, and innovation.

Nvidia's DGX Cloud AI supercomputing service will enable the company to enhance its AI infrastructure and deliver scalable, efficient, and accessible solutions to organizations and researchers worldwide. That expansion will democratize AI by making advanced computing resources and capabilities by far more accessible to a broader range of industries and researchers.