Nvidia spans AI from $59 Jetson Nano robots to massive datacenters on a chip

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Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang is delivering the GPU Technology Conference (GTC) keynote address this morning as he spotlights the company’s strategic platforms that span all of computing, from a $59 Jetson Nano robot brain to massive data processing units that are part of its datacenter-on-a-chip strategy.

Nvidia’s big event is expected to draw 30,000 attendees for more than 1,000 online sessions timed to accommodate a worldwide audience. The event is also coinciding with the Arm DevSummit, which starts tomorrow with a keynote chat between Huang and Arm CEO Simon Segars. (Nvidia has recently agreed to buy Arm for $40 billion.) The whole effort is aimed at winning over the hearts and minds of more than 15 million developers worldwide.

Huang said that Nvidia has shipped more than a billion graphics processing units (GPUs) to date, and its CUDA software development kit has had six million downloads in 2020. He said Nvidia has 80 news SDKs available today. He said there are 1,800 GPU-accelerated applications. He said the company’s new Ampere GPUs are on the “fastest ramp in our history.”

DPUs and DOCAs

COVID-19 simulation in Omniverse.

Above: COVID-19 simulation in Omniverse.

Image Credit: Nvidia

Among the event’s announcements is a new chip aimed at making it easier to run cloud-based datacenters. Head of enterprise computing Manuvir Das introduced the chip, called the Nvidia BlueField-2, in a press briefing. Nvidia described it as a data processing unit (DPU) akin to its GPU that gave the company its start in computing.

The DPUs are a new kind of chip that combine Nvidia’s chip technology with the networking, security, and storage technology the company gained with its $7.5 billion acquisition of Mellanox in 2019. The Nvidia BlueField-2 provides accelerated datacenter infrastructure services in which central processing units (CPUs), GPUs, and DPUs work together to deliver a computing