HT TECH wants to start sending you push notifications. Click allow to subscribe

Behind the plot to break Nvidia's grip on AI by targeting software

Nvidia's market cap success is driven by AI chips and proprietary software that locks in developers. A coalition including Qualcomm, Google, and Intel aims to challenge Nvidia's dominance with an open-source project called UXL, targeting multiple AI accelerator chips.

By: REUTERS
Updated on: Mar 26 2024, 07:10 IST
Tech coalition, including Qualcomm, Google, and Intel, targets Nvidia's software stronghold with open-source project UXL. (REUTERS)

Nvidia earned its $2.2 trillion market cap by producing artificial-intelligence chips that have become the lifeblood powering the new era of generative AI developers from startups to Microsoft, OpenAI and Google parent Alphabet.

Almost as important to its hardware is the company's nearly 20 years' worth of computer code, which helps make competition with the company nearly impossible. More than 4 million global developers rely on Nvidia's CUDA software platform to build AI and other apps.

You may be interested in

Mobiles Tablets Laptops
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Black Titanium
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
₹156,900
Check details
4% OFF
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
  • Titanium Black
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
₹129,999₹134,999
Buy now
Vivo X100 Pro 5G
  • Asteroid Black
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB Storage
₹89,999
Check details
13% OFF
Xiaomi 14
  • Matte Black
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 512 GB Storage
₹69,999₹79,999
Buy now
Acer Swift Go SFG14 41 NX KG3SI 002 Laptop
  • Pure Silver
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
₹54,990
Check details
Acer Aspire 5 A515 57G Laptop
  • Gray
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
₹54,990
Check details
Acer Aspire 3 A315 24 NX KDESI 004 Laptop
  • Silver
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
₹32,790
Check details
Asus VivoBook 15 X515JA BQ322WS Laptop
  • Transparent Silver
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
₹30,115
Check details
35% OFF
Xiaomi Pad 6
  • Mist Blue
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹25,998₹39,999
Buy now
38% OFF
Lenovo Tab M10 5G
  • Abyss Blue
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹20,999₹34,000
Buy now
38% OFF
Realme Pad 2
  • Imagination Grey
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹17,999₹28,999
Buy now
Honor Pad X9
  • Gray
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹15,999
Check details

Now a coalition of tech companies that includes Qualcomm, Google and Intel plans to loosen Nvidia’s chokehold by going after the chip giant’s secret weapon: the software that keeps developers tied to Nvidia chips. They are part of an expanding group of financiers and companies hacking away at Nvidia's dominance in AI.   

Also read: Looking for a smartphone? To check mobile finder click here.

"We're actually showing developers how you migrate out from an Nvidia platform," Vinesh Sukumar, Qualcomm's head of AI and machine learning, said in an interview with Reuters.      

Starting with a piece of technology developed by Intel called OneAPI, the UXL Foundation, a consortium of tech companies, plans to build a suite of software and tools that will be able to power multiple types of AI accelerator chips, executives involved with the group told Reuters. The open-source project aims to make computer code run on any machine, regardless of what chip and hardware powers it.

"It's about specifically - in the context of machine learning frameworks - how do we create an open ecosystem, and promote productivity and choice in hardware," Google's director and chief technologist of high-performance computing, Bill Magro, told Reuters in an interview. Google is one of the founding members of UXL and helps determine the technical direction of the project, Magro said.

UXL's technical steering committee is preparing to nail down technical specifications in the first half of this year. Engineers plan to refine the technical details to a "mature" state by the end of the year, executives said. These executives stressed the need to build a solid foundation to include contributions from multiple companies that can also be deployed on any chip or hardware.

Beyond the initial companies involved, UXL will court cloud-computing companies such as Amazon.com and Microsoft's Azure, as well as additional chipmakers.

Since its launch in September, UXL has already begun to receive technical contributions from third parties that include foundation members and outsiders keen on using the open-source technology, the executives involved said. Intel's OneAPI is already useable, and the second step is to create a standard programming model of computing designed for AI.

UXL plans to put its resources toward addressing the most pressing computing problems dominated by a few chipmakers, such as the latest AI apps and high-performance computing applications. Those early plans feed in to the organization's longer-term goal of winning over a critical mass of developers to its platform.

UXL eventually aims to support Nvidia hardware and code, in the long run.

When asked about the open source and venture-funded software efforts to break Nvidia’s AI dominance, Nvidia executive Ian Buck said in a statement: "The world is getting accelerated. New ideas in accelerated computing are coming from all across the ecosystem, and that will help advance AI and the scope of what accelerated computing can achieve."

Nvidia shares gained 0.8% to close at $950.02 on Monday.

NEARLY 100 STARTUPS

The UXL Foundation's plans are one of many efforts to chip away at Nvidia's hold on the software that powers AI. Venture financiers and corporate dollars have poured more than $4 billion into 93 separate efforts, according to custom data compiled by PitchBook at Reuters’ request.

The interest in unseating Nvidia through a potential weakness in software has ramped up in the last year, and startups aiming to poke holes in the company's leadership gobbled up just over $2 billion in 2023 compared with $580 million from a year ago, according to the data from PitchBook.

Success in the shadow of Nvidia's group on AI data crunching is an achievement that few of the startups will be able to achieve. Nvidia's CUDA is a compelling piece of software on paper, as it is full-featured and is consistently growing both from Nvidia's contributions and the developer community. 

"But that's not what really matters," said Jay Goldberg, chief executive of D2D Advisory, a finance and strategy consulting firm. "What matters is the fact that people have been using CUDA for 15 years, they built code around it."

One more thing! We are now on WhatsApp Channels! Follow us there so you never miss any updates from the world of technology. ‎To follow the HT Tech channel on WhatsApp, click here to join now!

Catch all the Latest Tech News, Mobile News, Laptop News, Gaming news, Wearables News , How To News, also keep up with us on ,Twitter, Facebook, , and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 26 Mar, 07:10 IST
Tags:

Sale

Mobiles Tablets Laptops
4% OFF
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
  • Titanium Black
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
₹129,999₹134,999
Buy now
7% OFF
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Black Titanium
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
₹148,900₹159,900
Buy now
13% OFF
Xiaomi 14
  • Matte Black
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 512 GB Storage
₹69,999₹79,999
Buy now
10% OFF
Apple iPhone 15 Plus
  • Black
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹80,590₹89,900
Buy now
33% OFF
Xiaomi Pad 6
  • Mist Blue
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹26,999₹39,999
Buy now
38% OFF
Lenovo Tab M10 5G
  • Abyss Blue
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹20,999₹34,000
Buy now
28% OFF
Realme Pad 2
  • Imagination Grey
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹17,999₹24,999
Buy now
13% OFF
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 5G 256GB
  • Graphite
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
₹88,058₹101,398
Buy now
29% OFF
Acer Aspire 3 A315 24 NX KDESI 004 Laptop
  • Silver
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
₹31,990₹44,999
Buy now
28% OFF
Asus TUF Dash F15 FX517ZR HQ030WS Laptop
  • Black
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 1 TB SSD
₹55,990₹77,990
Buy now
41% OFF
MSI Modern 14 C12M 671IN Laptop
  • Urban Silver
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
₹32,490₹54,990
Buy now
31% OFF
Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED UP3404VA KN542WS Laptop
  • Ponder Blue
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
₹67,990₹98,990
Buy now
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS