Insights and Takeaways from Nvidia GTC

April 2, 2024 / Ben Bajarin

On the latest episode of the Circuit, Ben Bajarin and Jay Goldberg discuss their observations and takeaways from Nvidia GTC.


Nvidia’s recent keynote highlighted their dominance in the data center and their position as a platform company. They offer a full stack solution and are recognized for their sum of the parts story. While some customers may be concerned about getting locked into Nvidia’s ecosystem, many appreciate the simplicity and turnkey nature of their offerings. The importance of inference and the transition to generative AI was also discussed, highlighting the complexity of scaling and the need for compute power. However, there may be room for competition in the inference market, particularly in relation to Nvidia’s NVLink technology. The conversation covers various topics related to NVIDIA’s keynote, including the need for more compute power, the potential of robotics and 6G, the challenges of implementing 6G, the future of software at NVIDIA, and the uncertainty of NVIDIA’s software revenue. The conversation also touches on the future of AI software, the computing S-curve, and the longevity of performance gains. Overall, the conversation highlights the excitement and optimism surrounding NVIDIA’s advancements in AI and computing.

Key Takeaways Discussed

Nvidia’s Comprehensive Approach: Nvidia is positioning itself not just as a silicon company but as a full-stack, platform company. They offer a range of products from individual GPUs to complete data center solutions, emphasizing their capability to provide end-to-end AI solutions.

The Significance of NVLink: NVLink, Nvidia’s high-speed interconnect technology, was highlighted as a critical component for enhancing AI inference capabilities. However, its appeal might be limited for certain big tech companies due to architectural reasons, indicating potential vulnerabilities in Nvidia’s model.

The Complexity of AI Inference: The conversation underscored AI inference as a complex problem requiring significant computational power. Nvidia’s approach to inference, particularly through NVLink and its focus on GPU architecture, was discussed, with some skepticism regarding whether GPUs are the optimal solution for inference tasks.

Export Controls and Market Strategy: Nvidia’s strategy for navigating export controls to China was mentioned, including the adaptation of products for compliance. This reflects Nvidia’s pragmatic approach to maintaining its market presence amidst geopolitical challenges.

Software and Revenue Streams: The discussion touched upon Nvidia’s exploration of software as a potential revenue stream, including prepackaged inference microservices (NIMS) and Omniverse. Nvidia’s approach to software appears to be more about differentiation than direct monetization.

AI Software’s Future: The future of AI software is expected to go beyond transformer models to incorporate a variety of algorithms and approaches. This indicates a broad and evolving landscape for AI applications.

Customer Flexibility and Market Demand: Nvidia’s strategy offers flexibility to customers, allowing them to choose between complete solutions and individual components. This approach is seen as a way to address market demand and potentially counter concerns about vendor lock-in.



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