Microsoft is jumping into Nvidia’s industrial metaverse network, just weeks after apparently withdrawing from its own attempt to create immersive internet tools for manufacturing companies.
The alliance will see Microsoft’s cloud computing platform, Azure, host Nvidia’s suite of internet services for building and operating hyper-realistic virtual worlds called Omniverse Cloud, as well as Nvidia DGX Cloud.
The latter is a new offering described as an artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputing service that gives enterprises instant access to the infrastructure and software needed to train advanced models for generative AI, according to an announcement previewed by Forbes.
A large portion of the chipmaker’s revenue comes from its gaming division, home to the graphic processing units (GPUs) that had been widely used by ether miners until late last year. Ethereum’s shift to a more energy-efficient model obliterated that stream.
Nvidia was well aware it would lose the cryptocurrency mining revenue and decided to concentrate its technology on the now booming markets for metaverse-enabling software and artificial intelligence that take advantage of its graphics-oriented semiconductors.
Huang showed a video of how Amazon.com is using simulation tools to choreograph the movements of Proteus, it’s first fully autonomous warehouse robot, as it moves storage bins from one place to another alongside other robots and humans.
The partnership with Microsoft MSFT +0.9% will also enable integration between Microsoft 365 programs — such as Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint — and Nvidia Omniverse, a platform for building and operating 3D industrial metaverse applications, to enable real-time 3D collaboration.
Subscriptions for the new offering will become available in the second half of this year, said Richard Kerris, vice president of the Omniverse developer platform and the industry general manager for media and entertainment, speaking at the briefing ahead of the conference. He said pricing would be revealed later.
To that end, Milan Nedeljković, a member of the board of management at BMW Group, joined Huang during his GTC keynote to announce that the car manufacturer will be expanding its use of the Omniverse platform across its global production network, including its first entirely virtual factory, a predecessor to the actual electric vehicle plant scheduled for opening in Debrecen, Hungary in 2025.
Additionally, the chipmaker has unveiled six new RTX Ada Lovelace GPUs for laptops and desktops, which deliver up to two times more efficiently than the previous generation, and the third generation of its OVX computing system to meet the demands of the metaverse and AI-related workflows.
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