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Ian Buck On 5 Big Bets Nvidia Is Making In 2020

'We're reaching a point where supercomputers that are being built now are all going to be AI supercomputers,' Nvidia data center exec Ian Buck tells CRN of the chipmaker's AI ambitions.

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Nvidia Has Big Ambitions For 5G, Autonomous Driving, Healthcare

Ian Buck is fired up.

As Nvidia's top data center executive and the creator of the chipmaker's CUDA parallel computing platform, Buck is leading a business that has transformed the way computing infrastructure works. While Nvidia's GPUs continue to dominate gaming and content creation, they have become paramount to many high-performance computing and artificial intelligence workloads in the past several years.

"Today, with the advent of AI […] the data centers are changing. They're becoming compute-intensive supercomputers in some cases," Buck, whose title is general manager and vice president of accelerated computing at Nvidia, told CRN in an interview.

The increasing relevance of GPUs within the data center market was demonstrated most recently with Nvidia's announcement on Tuesday that the U.S. Postal Service will use GPU-accelerated servers from Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Dell EMC to enable AI-driven mail sorting.

But Nvidia's data-driven ambitions go beyond just traditional data centers, ranging from edge servers and medical devices to autonomous vehicles and robots.

"I think AI has shown a capability far beyond what traditional algorithms can do, they enable new use cases, new capabilities, whether it be smart cities or conversational AI, but they need compute to process," Buck said. "They also need a new software stack, and that's where all the innovations happen. So it's really fun being in the space, because you're at the center of that redefinition, that innovation."

What follows are five big bets Buck said Nvidia is making for 2020, ranging from new innovations to enable 5G network infrastructure to new software frameworks to support AI in healthcare.

 
 
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