Nvidia, Microsoft announce new HGX-1 hyperscale GPU accelerator for AI workloads

Computing cj Times

Nvidia and Microsoft announced a new system form factor today at the Open Compute Summit for the Open Compute Project. Unlike the venerable ATX standard, this one is designed for data centers and aimed at maximizing GPU performance as part of Microsoft’s Project Olympus initiative.

According to Nvidia, HGX-1 is designed “to meet the exploding demand for AI computing in the cloud — in fields such as autonomous driving, personalized healthcare, superhuman voice recognition, data and video analytics, and molecular simulations.”

Microsoft’s Project Olympus has been pulling in headlines, with hardware launches from Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, and now Nvidia as well. Each of these platforms is intended to accelerate a specific type of workload or scenario. According to Microsoft, Intel’s work with Project Olympus fielded support for Skylake processors, with future versions expected to add support for FPGA accelerators or Intel Nervana solutions. AMD solutions are Naples-centric, as you might expect, and Qualcomm’s focus on its own upcoming 48-core CPU.


An HGX-1 chassis

Nvidia’s Project Olympus platform will pack eight Pascal GPUs (GP100s) into a single chassis, all connected via NVLink, Microsoft said. Up to 32 GPUs can be supported by linking four HGX-1 systems together (it isn’t clear which standard is used to link the systems themselves).

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