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Meta and Microsoft Announce Plans to Purchase AMD's New AI Chip as Nvidia Alternative

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Meta and Microsoft Opt for AMD's New AI Chip as Alternative to Nvidia

During an AMD investor event, Meta, OpenAI, and Microsoft announced their plans to utilize AMD's latest AI chip, the Instinct MI300X. This move signals a growing trend among technology companies to seek alternatives to Nvidia's expensive graphics processors, which have been crucial for AI programs like OpenAI's ChatGPT. If AMD's high-end chip proves to be suitable for building and serving AI models, it could potentially reduce costs and create competitive pressure on Nvidia's AI chip sales growth.

Advantages of AMD's MI300X Chip

AMD states that the MI300X is built on a new architecture, often resulting in significant performance improvements. Its standout feature is the inclusion of 192GB of cutting-edge, high-performance memory known as HBM3. This type of memory facilitates faster data transfer and accommodates larger AI models. CEO Lisa Su directly compared the Instinct MI300X to Nvidia's main AI GPU, the H100, highlighting the enhanced user experience and faster response times, especially for complex queries.

Challenges and Improvements

A key question for AMD is whether companies already invested in Nvidia will be willing to allocate resources to adopt another GPU supplier. AMD acknowledges that it requires effort to transition to their technology. To address one of the primary reasons why AI developers currently prefer Nvidia, AMD has enhanced its software suite called ROCm to compete with Nvidia's industry-standard CUDA software.

Price and Market Outlook

While AMD did not disclose pricing for the MI300X, it is crucial for the chip to be more cost-effective to purchase and operate compared to Nvidia's offerings. AMD has already secured commitments from major GPU consumers, including Meta and Microsoft, who were the top purchasers of Nvidia H100 GPUs in 2023. AMD's optimistic outlook includes projecting around $2 billion in total data center GPU revenue for 2024. However, Nvidia reported over $14 billion in data center sales in the most recent quarter alone. AMD believes that the market for AI GPUs could reach $400 billion within the next four years, doubling their previous projection. Despite not aiming to surpass Nvidia, AMD is confident in its ability to secure a significant share of this lucrative market. The company's focus on its product line reflects the high expectations and demand for high-end AI chips. With the AI chip market currently dominated by Nvidia, AMD aims to establish a strong presence and capitalize on the projected growth. —Su's statements to reporters suggest that AMD is not solely focused on outperforming Nvidia but aims to secure a substantial portion of the expanding AI chip market.

The Implications of Meta and Microsoft's Adoption of AMD's New AI Chip for New Businesses

The recent announcement by Meta, OpenAI, and Microsoft to use AMD's latest AI chip, the Instinct MI300X, could have significant implications for new businesses in the tech sector. This shift indicates a growing trend among tech giants to seek alternatives to Nvidia's costly graphics processors, which have been instrumental in AI programs.

Performance and Cost Advantages

The MI300X, built on a new architecture, promises significant performance improvements. It includes 192GB of high-performance memory, HBM3, enabling faster data transfer and larger AI model accommodation. This could potentially lower costs for developing AI models, creating a more accessible market for new businesses.

Transition Challenges and Market Opportunities

However, there are challenges. Companies heavily invested in Nvidia may be reluctant to adopt another GPU supplier. AMD has addressed this by enhancing its ROCm software suite to compete with Nvidia's CUDA software. This opens up opportunities for new businesses to enter the market with innovative solutions that could ease this transition.
Market Outlook and Potential Impact
AMD's optimistic market outlook, projecting around $2 billion in total data center GPU revenue for 2024, and the belief that the AI GPU market could reach $400 billion within the next four years, signals a lucrative market for new businesses. Despite Nvidia's current dominance, AMD's focus on securing a substantial portion of this expanding market could pave the way for new businesses to carve out their own niche within this rapidly growing sector.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/12/06/meta-and-microsoft-to-buy-amds-new-ai-chip-as-alternative-to-nvidia.html
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