NVIDIA may be best known to the general public (or at least the geeky set of the general public) for its PC graphics cards used for gaming, content creation, and cryptocurrency mining, among other things. But the first products based on the company’s new Ampere technology will be high-performance (and high-price) solutions aimed at products for data centers, autonomous vehicles, and related applications.
It’ll be a while before you see Ampere-based graphics solutions for personal computers.
NVIDIA is kicking things off with the NVIDIA A100 data center GPU. NVIDIA says the A100 GPU is designed for “data analytics, scientific computing, and cloud graphics.”
According to NVIDIA, the A100 GPU offers up to a 20X improvement in AI applications when compared with the previous-gen V100 GPU based on Volta architecture. It’s a 7nm chip with 54 billion transistors, third-generation Tensor Cores, and support for multi-instance GPU technology, allowing a single A100 GPU to be set up so that it functions as up to seven independent GPUs.
There are several related products. The NVIDIA DGX A100 is an AI system with 5 petaflops of performance which NVIDIA says is expected to be used for things like biomedical research, computer vision, speech recognition, and other machine learning/AI applications.
The NVIDIA EGX A100 Edge AI platform, meanwhile, is a smaller, lower-power, lower-cost system that can bring real-time AI processing to local hardware.
NVIDIA is also announcing the availability of its previously-unveiled developer kit, the Jetson Xavier NX. But interestingly this $399 mini computer is powered by a removable system-on-a-module with a GPU based on NVIDIA’s previous-gen Volta technology.
The Jetson Xavier NX module has a 6-core NVIDIA Carmel ARMv8 CPU, a 384-core NVIDIA Volta GPU with 48 tensor cores, 8GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, and support for 21 TOPS of AI performance.