Published in Graphics

Nvidia’s AI chips can't be beaten, even if they're free

by on11 March 2024

Jensen Huang gets overenthusiastic.

Nvidia boss Jensen Huang has boasted that his firm's chips are "so good that even when the competitor's chips are free, it's not cheap enough."

At the 2024 SIEPR Economic Summit, Huang was asked by former Stanford University economics professor John Shoven if he was worried about cheaper competition (see video below).

Huang said Nvidia has more competition than anyone on the planet, and some of  Nvidia's customers were trying to make their chips.  Generally, Nvidia “helps them out” by telling them what's coming next from Nvidia, he said.

Huang might have overegged the pudding with his subsequent claim that Nvidia is a "completely open book." Recently, the outfit was accused of running a GPU Cartel, with customers scared to talk to other GPU makers for fear of losing their orders. A group of companies is also trying to get rid of Nvidia's CUDA software, which is used by most AI developers.

Jensen Huang listed Nvidia's selling points. He said that while other chips might be good at one thing, Nvidia's GPUs can do anything. Nvidia's platform was "a great standard... in every cloud computer company." That means that any data centre that wants to serve different kinds of customers, from banks to factories and so on, will go for Nvidia's hardware.

The price claim was not as strange as it sounds. People who buy and sell chips think about the price, but people who run data centres think about the cost of running them. He said that Nvidia's chips are so good that they save data centre owners time, money and hassle. He noted that Nvidia's chips are "so good that even when the competitor's chips are free, it's not cheap enough."

Huang said Nvidia's goal is to stay ahead with this unbeatable cost advantage. He reminded the audience that Nvidia's success is not due to luck but hard work and innovation. He said that Nvidia never takes anything for granted.


Last modified on 11 March 2024
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