It’s no secret that Nvidia has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence (AI) for quite some time now, in one form or another. The company’s aim is to create an AI ecosystem by making various investments in AI startups around the world.
Just last week the company announced new investments in AI platform developer H2O.ai, data visualisation company Graphistry; technology developer BlazingDB.
“It makes sense for Nvidia to invest in all of these companies, as they will advance the necessary ecosystem surrounding GPUs and drive their adoption in both on-premise, high-performance development systems, in the cloud as workload accelerators and ultimately also at the edge for AI inference tasks,” wrote John Abbott, 451 Research founder.
While Nvidia is mostly known for providing gamers with GPUs, more recently its products have been focusing on catering for the data centers and other markets. Being able to perform multiple tasks in more demanding environments the GPUs can process parallel workloads.
“More recently Nvidia has been pushing GPUs as engines for artificial intelligence and deep learning,” said Abbott. “Again, the parallel nature of the GPU architecture makes them a good fit for this – but Nvidia has also done a huge amount of work on the surrounding software ecosystem, optimizing their chips to run the sort of open-source software tools and programming frameworks used by data scientists.”
AI startup BlazingDB was founded back in 2015 and as well as Nvidia, others to invest in the company include Samsung NEXT Ventures, Angel Ventures Peru, and Techstars. “For those unfamiliar, BlazingDB has created a SQL engine that is cloud-friendly and takes advantage of the unique characteristics of GPUs to provide scalable, performant and distributed data warehouse solutions,” said Leo Chang, Principal of Samsung NEXT Ventures.
“Anyone who has worked with very large data warehouses knows that they tend to slow down as they scale up. By writing a SQL engine that runs on cloud-based GPUs, BlazingDB has superior speed, scalability, and cost-efficiency for large data warehouse applications.”
Graphistry uses GPUs too. But unlike BlazingDB it uses them to analyze data and create graphics that incorporate business data within it. H20.ai is different too. It’s created a platform that enables data scientists to explore further the many uses of AI and machine learning.
Other AI-based investments that have been taken in under the wings of Nvidia include New York data mining platform Datalougue Inc; Boston’s Olympus Ride Inc; Tokyo-based retail analytics systems developer ABEJA Inc; Beijing-based TuSimple LLC; and Israeli cybersecurity firm Deep Instinct.