In a recent interview during the Computex event, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang shared many interesting thoughts on the ARM acquisition, metaverse, AI, and even crypto. It is one of the most straightforward and comprehensive interviews we've seen from Jensen for a while. For anyone interested in the company, we highly recommend reading the full interview.
Among all the exciting conversations, the answer from Jensen when asked about the recently announced Grace CPU based on ARM caught our attention in particular.
"First of all, I think the future world is very diversified. It will be x86. It will be Arm. It will be big CPUs, small CPUs, edge CPUs, datacenter CPUs, supercomputing CPUs, enterprise computing CPUs, lots of CPUs. I think the world is very diversified. There is no one answer. Sometimes the right CPU is Intel x86. For example, we have 140 laptops. The vast majority of them are Intel CPUs. We have DGX systems. We need a lot of PCI Express. It was great to use the AMD CPU. In the case of 5G base stations, Marvell's CPU is ideal. They're based on Arm. Cloud hyperscale, Ampere Computing's Altra CPU is excellent. Graviton 2 is excellent. It's fantastic. We support those. In Japan, Fujitsu's CPU is incredible for supercomputing. We'll support that. Different types of CPUs are designed for different applications."
While ARM is competing with x86 in certain markets, it appears that the competition between different CPU architectures almost doesn't matter from Nvidia's perspective. All that matters is Nvidia's AI capability accelerates more computing. There will be different CPU architecture for various applications, but Nvidia will be THE AI engine of choice for them all. The move to acquire ARM is neither about crushing the other ARM licensees nor crushing and replacing the x86 ecosystem. Instead, the goal is to 1) better support and advance the ARM ecosystem in all these new applications that currently do not have perfect solutions yet, and 2) accelerate the AI adoption powered by Nvidia. The ARM-based Grace CPU that Nvidia recently announced is a great example.
"The CPU we designed has never been designed before. No CPU has ever been able to achieve the level of memory bandwidth and memory capacity that we have designed for. It is designed for big data analytics. It's designed for state of the art in AI. There are two primary models or AI models that we are very interested in advancing because they're so important. The first one is the recommender system. It's the most valuable piece of software, approach of software, that the world has ever known. It drives all the internet companies, all the internet services. The recommender system is very important, incredibly important science. It's designed for that. The second is natural language understanding, which requires a lot of memory, a lot of data, to train a very smart AI for having conversational AI, answering questions, making recommendations, and so on."
When Nvidia first announced the ARM acquisition, the biggest concern was that the combination would give Nvidia an unfair advantage over other ARM licensees, and it is a valid concern. Unfortunately, in our opinion, the company did a terrible job explaining its vision at the time, provided nothing but a somewhat empty and not very convincing promise that "we will keep ARM's neutral business model and keep a level playing field." However, this latest interview explained its strategy much more clearly and is a good demonstration of why keeping ARM neutral might actually be in the best interest of Nvidia.
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