Microsoft and NVIDIA to integrate generative AI and Omniverse tech in Azure and Microsoft 365

With NVIDIA lifting the lid on Blackwell at GTC 2024, Microsoft confirms that Azure is going to be powered by Blackwell very soon.

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It's been a massive day for AI news, with NVIDIA's premiere GTC 2024 AI conference underway. Earlier today, the company unveiled its next-gen Blackwell AI GPU - an unprecedented AI monster with 208 billion transistors and 192GB of super-fast HBM3E memory.

NVIDIA's first multi-GPU die is built on a cutting-edge TSMC 4NP process. It allows organizations to run real-time generative AI on "trillion-parameter large language models" at up to 25X less cost and energy consumption than its Hopper predecessor. Throw in the latest version of NVIDIA NVLink that delivers 1.8TB/s bidirectional throughput per GPU, and it's no wonder everyone is signing up to join the Blackwell family - including Microsoft.

Alongside the big Blackwell reveal, NVIDIA and Microsoft have announced that Microsoft Azure will adopt NVIDIA Grace Blackwell Superchips to help accelerate customer and first-party (Microsoft's own) AI offerings, Including Microsoft 365, aka the online versions of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and OneNote. NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA Triton Inference Server will help power Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365.

"Together with NVIDIA, we are making the promise of AI real, helping to drive new benefits and productivity gains for people and organizations everywhere," said Satya Nadella, Microsoft's Chairman and CEO. "From bringing the GB200 Grace Blackwell processor to Azure to new integrations between DGX Cloud and Microsoft Fabric, the announcements we are making today will ensure customers have the most comprehensive platforms and tools across every layer of the Copilot stack, from silicon to software, to build their breakthrough AI capability."

"AI is transforming our daily lives - opening up a world of new opportunities," said Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of NVIDIA. "Through our collaboration with Microsoft, we're building a future that unlocks the promise of AI for customers, helping them deliver innovative solutions to the world."

Microsoft will be one of the first companies to bring NVIDIA Grace Blackwell GB200 and advanced NVIDIA Quantum-X800 InfiniBand networking to its cloud-based Azure platform. For customers that might not need the advanced power of Blackwell, Microsoft has also announced today that its Azure NC H100 v5 VM virtual machine (VM) based on the NVIDIA H100 NVL platform is now available for all.

The partnership doesn't stop there. Later this year, NVIDIA Omniverse Cloud APIs will be available on Microsoft Azure, "enabling developers to bring increased data interoperability, collaboration, and physics-based visualization to existing software applications."

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Kosta is a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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