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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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Software-Defined 5G Infrastructure

One area that Nvidia is betting on is 5G, a technology Buck admitted can be subject to a lot of hyperbole.

"It's so exciting that people don't know why it's exciting," he told the audience at Nvidia's GTC conference in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

But Buck said 5G will be important, and all the hype shouldn't distract from that. That's because, he said, 5G will improve various workloads, including AI at the edge, thanks to higher bandwidth, significantly lower latency, greater reliability and increased device density.

"Effectively what that means is that promise of IoT can be made real, because I can make my device incredibly cheap and low power," he said. "It doesn't need to have any intelligence. All it needs is a 5G connection, and I can move all its AI, all its processing, anything else, to the edge. As a result, 5G is enabling us to build low-cost, ubiquitous […] IoT devices, whether they be cameras or doorbells or shoelaces, if you will, that are connected and as intelligent as an entire data center."

Nvidia's investments in 5G include Aerial, a new software development kit that can run on the company's EGX edge platform to enable GPU-accelerated, software-defined wireless radio access networks for 5G infrastructure. This will allow telecom companies to provide more flexibility in the breadth of services they offer.

One of Nvidia's early partners in building virtualized 5G radio access networks is Ericsson, which will allow the company to provide new services such as augmented reality, virtual reality and gaming.

"With 5G, as we move all these capabilities to the edge, the edge changes to be much more software defined," Buck said.

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