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Reliance & Tata join NVIDIA for AI supercomputers in India

NVIDIA on September 8 announced partnerships with Reliance and Tata to advance artificial intelligence (AI) development in India.

1. Partnership with Reliance 

Reliance Jio and NVIDIA will build cloud-based AI infrastructure in the country “that is over an order of magnitude more powerful than the fastest supercomputer in India today,” NVIDIA said in its press release.

NVIDIA will provide access to its GH200 Grace Hopper Superchips (the company’s most powerful AI chip) and DGX Cloud (a cloud-based AI super computing service) for this purpose. This AI infrastructure will be hosted in data centers that will eventually expand to 2,000 MW, NVIDIA stated.

“The new AI cloud infrastructure will enable researchers, developers, startups, scientists, AI practitioners and others across India to access accelerated computing and high-speed, secure cloud networking to run workloads safely and with extreme energy efficiency. The new infrastructure will greatly speed up a wide range of India’s key initiatives and AI projects, including AI chatbots, drug discovery, climate research and more,” Reliance said in its press release.

Furthermore, Reliance will develop India’s own foundation large language model (LLM) trained on the nation’s languages and tailored for its use cases. LLMs are the foundational models that power popular generative AI services. For example, OpenAI’s ChatGPT is powered by the GPT-4 LLM and Google’s Bard is powered by PaLM 2 LLM. Alongside the LLM, Reliance will also create AI applications and services for Jio customers. In its annual general meeting in August, Reliance had mentioned that Jio will develop India-specific AI models.

2. Partnership with Tata

Similar to the Reliance partnership, NVIDIA and Tata will also build an AI supercomputer powered by NVIDIA GH200 Grace Hopper Superchips.

“The collaboration will bring state-of-the-art AI capabilities within reach to thousands of organizations, businesses and AI researchers, and hundreds of startups in India,” NVIDIA said in its press release.

Separately, Tata Consultancy Services will utilize the AI infrastructure to build and support generative AI applications for its customers. TCS will also upskill its 600,000-strong workforce under this partnership.

“The advancements in AI have made focus on AI a central priority in governments, industries and society at large. The impact of AI and machine learning is going to be profound across industries and every aspect of our lives. This is a key transformational trend of the decade and every company must prepare to make this AI transition. Our partnership with NVIDIA will democratize access to AI infrastructure, accelerate build-out of AI solutions and enable upgradation of AI talent at scale.” — N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons

Why does this matter: Earlier this month, tech executives had pointed out that startups working on or using AI in India face constraints because India lags in AI infrastructure compared to global counterparts. “India’s largest cluster of graphics processing units (GPU) was about 2,000-2,500 as compared with 20,000 plus in the US,” Shridhar Garge, Head of Strategy, Planning & Programs at NVIDIA told Economic Times. The initiatives by Reliance and Tata could help address this issue by upgrading India’s AI infrastructure. NVIDIA’s GPUs are the most sought after chips in the market for building AI infrastructure and there is a supply shortage of these chips. The partnership could help Reliance and Tata jump the queue to get these chips.

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