Nvidia unveils next-generation AI chips to gain market edge

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Nvidia on Sunday announced the next generation of its artificial intelligence processors, a surprise move less than three months after the launch of its most recent one.

At the Computex conference in Taipei, the chip maker’s chief executive Jensen Huang unveiled “Rubin”, the successor to its “Blackwell” chips for data centers, which are currently in production after being announced in March.

Blackwell’s unexpected move to unveil its next range of products even before they begin shipping to customers highlights how the world’s most valuable chipmaker is racing to establish its dominance in the AI ​​processor space, which has catapulted it into the ranks of the world’s most valuable companies.

“A new computing era is beginning,” Huang said, as Nvidia also revealed new AI chip deals with PC makers.

Rubin is set to begin shipping in 2026 and promises improved power efficiency, as the Silicon Valley-based company seeks to address concerns that the expansion of Big Tech’s AI data centers is putting a strain on energy grids in some areas.

The announcement didn’t provide details, but Huang said Nvidia is working at a “one-year pace” of building the new AI platform.

Nvidia’s pace of innovation has taken on heightened importance in the broader stock market, as traders bet on whether the huge AI-driven rally in some big tech companies can continue.

The chip maker has increased its market capitalization by about $350 billion after reporting revenue growth, and the company is inching closer to Apple to become the second most valuable U.S. company after Microsoft.

While Nvidia today sells most of the AI ​​chips needed to train large language models like OpenAI’s GPT, the company faces growing competition from AMD and Intel, as well as custom chips developed by cloud computing providers including Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

Nvidia’s Blackwell chip is being rolled out just about a year after its current-generation “Hopper” chips were unveiled.

The company also announced a new Vera Arm-based central processing unit on Sunday, as Nvidia looks to make more chips used in AI data centers.

CPUs, dominated by Intel and AMD, are traditionally the main power source of any computer, but Huang is attempting to reshape the server market around his AI chips as artificial intelligence takes a growing share of data center workloads.

Nvidia began making graphics processing units more than 30 years ago, which served as companions to Intel CPUs in video gaming PCs. But more than 15 years ago, Huang realized that the technology inside its GPUs was also suitable for other data-intensive computing tasks, such as AI.

The company is now trying to boost its PC chip business by leveraging its dominance in AI chips for data centers.

Huang on Sunday also announced agreements with two PC makers, Asus and MSI, that will launch machines using Nvidia’s GeForce RTX graphics processing units to support a range of AI tasks, from digital assistants to video editing and coding.

“Your future laptop will be constantly helping you in the background,” Huang said. “The PC will run apps that are augmented by AI, from writing, photo editing, to digital humans that are AI,” Huang said.

Nvidia did not clarify when the Asus and MSI laptops would go on sale.

Many PC makers and component providers are expected to use the Computex event to make announcements to position themselves as beneficiaries of the expected “AI PC” wave.

Microsoft recently unveiled a range of AI-enhanced PCs and tablets equipped with its Copilot assistant tool, powered by Qualcomm’s chips, which will begin launching later this month. Microsoft has said it hopes to incorporate Nvidia chips and AMD’s Radeon graphics chips into its PCs in the future.

PC sales have declined since the pandemic, but analysts expect demand to rebound when companies choose embedded AI PCs with powerful chips to run AI applications rather than relying solely on the cloud.

“AI PCs will bring the most exciting innovation to the PC industry in the last two to three decades, since the creation of the World Wide Web in the late 1980s,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note last month.

Running AI applications on the device would be cheaper and more flexible than in the cloud and would also have benefits for data privacy, he said. Morgan Stanley predicts that AI PCs will make up about 65 percent of PC shipments by 2028, up from 2 percent this year.

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