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Crypto billionaire’s nonprofit acquires £411m in AI data centre chips

Written by Tue 31 Oct 2023

AI cloud computing organisation, Voltage Park, has bought £411 million ($500 million) worth of NVIDIA advanced chips. 

Voltage Park also plans to lease computing capacity to companies for artificial intelligence (AI) projects to help alleviate the AI chip shortage. The organisation is owned by crypto billionaire Jed McCaleb’s nonprofit Navigation Fund.

“Not enough people understand how much the compute shortage is affecting AI innovators … We hope to redress this imbalance and accelerate cutting-edge work in AI,” said Eric Park, CEO at Voltage Park.

Voltage Park identified three current concerns within the AI chip ecosystem: rigid long-term contracts, lengthy lead times for GPU purchases, and restrictive GPU rental prices impacting startups and research labs. These costs could potentially lead to significant AI training cost increases.

Voltage Park said it has 24,000 NVIDIA H100 chips in the Voltage Park Cloud, which plans to offer long and short-term, low-cost AI computing. These chips are part of clusters featuring 80GB H100 SXM5 GPUs, fully interconnected with 3.2T InfiniBand.

Voltage Park is establishing NVIDIA AI chip clusters in Texas, Virginia, and Washington. While some are already operational, the full deployment of the NVIDIA chips is expected by February.

The organisation will also provide bare-metal access for large-scale users that require peak performance. Bare-metal is a cloud service that allows a user to rent a single physical computer server.

Voltage Park said it plans to offer the option for hourly billing. The organisation is in the process of expanding its infrastructure to accommodate this change.

“We are on a mission to make machine learning infrastructure accessible to all, from large enterprises and research universities, to seed-stage startups and nonprofits,” said Voltage Park.

The integration of services with widely-used tools is also in progress. This integration aims to simplify the implementation of Voltage Park’s services within existing training systems for user convenience.

NVIDIA became the first chip manufacturer to hit a £822 billion ($1 trillion) valuation in June. The company’s CEO, Jensen Huang, said the company’s success and sales projections were a result of transitions in accelerated computing and generative AI.

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Written by Tue 31 Oct 2023

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