Gaming PC

Nvidia CEO Comments on Grace CPU Delay, Teases Sampling Silicon

Nvidia has hinted at its upcoming Arm-based Grace CPUs at GTC 2023, but the company’s announcement that the system will ship later this year represents a delay from its original launch schedule, which was targeted for the first half of 2023. increase. Huang addresses the delay in the Q&A session at today’s press conference below. Nvidia also showed off its Grace silicon for the first time and made many new performance claims during its GTC keynote. This includes things like Arm-based Grace chips being up to 1.3x faster than his x86 competitors at 60% power. also cover.

We asked Jensen Huang about the delay in shipping the Grace CPU and Grace Hopper Superchip systems to the end market. After he playfully pushes back about the expected release date (that was definitely 1H23now 2H23), he replied:

“First, Grace and Grace Hopper are both in production and silicon is flying around the fab. Systems are being created and we made a lot of announcements. We’re building it.” Huang also said Nvidia had only been working on the chip for two years. This is a relatively short period of time given the typical multi-year design cycle of modern chips.

The definition of today’s shipping system can be ambiguous. AMD’s and Intel’s first systems often ship hyperscalers for deployment long before the chips hit the general market. However, Nvidia says it’s offering chips to customers as samples, but doesn’t say the Grace has been put into production yet. So, according to the company’s projections, the chips are late, but to be fair, it’s not uncommon for chip launches from companies like Intel to lag year after year. It highlights the difficulty of launching a new chip, even when using a well-established hardware and software platform to build the dominant x86 chip.

In contrast, Nvidia’s Grace and Grace+Hopper chips are a radical rethink of many of the fundamental aspects of chip design with innovative new chip-to-chip interconnects. Nvidia’s use of the Arm instruction set means much better optimization and porting of software, requiring the company to build an entirely new platform.

Jensen alluded to some of that in his extended response, stating: We showed some numbers during the keynote. We didn’t want to burden the keynote with a lot of numbers, but there will be a lot of numbers available for people to enjoy. It was wonderful.

And Nvidia’s claims are impressive. For example, in the album above, you can see his Grace Hopper chip, which Nvidia showed live in his GTC for the first time (technical details here).

During the presentation, Huang claimed that the chip was 1.2x faster on the HiBench Apache Spark memory-intensive benchmark and 1.3x faster on the Google microservices communication benchmark than the “average” next-gen x86 server chip. Did. power.

Nvidia claims this will allow data centers to deploy 1.7x more Grace servers in power-capped installments, each offering 25% more also claim Grace is 1.9x faster on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) workloads.

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