Nvidia, Cisco to Help Companies Build In-House AI Computing

 Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. are teaming up to make it easier for corporations to build their own AI computing infrastructure, an attempt to push the technology beyond the big data-center providers. 

Under an arrangement announced Tuesday, Cisco will offer Nvidia-based equipment — popular for developing artificial intelligence models — along with its networking gear.

For Nvidia, the partnership opens up another channel for its technology. Cisco, meanwhile, gets to capitalize on an AI spending boom that’s helped turn Nvidia into the world’s most valuable chipmaker. 

“Working closely with Cisco, we’re making it easier than ever for enterprises to obtain the infrastructure they need to benefit from AI, the most powerful technology force of our lifetime,” Nvidia Chief Executive Officer Jensen Huang said in a statement. 

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Cisco will offer M7 server computers that use Nvidia’s latest processors, as well as the chipmaker’s software, AI models and development tools. It’s also offering its own cloud-based software and services for monitoring and managing such systems. 

“Strengthening our great partnership with Nvidia is going to arm enterprises with the technology and the expertise they need to build, deploy, manage and secure AI solutions at scale,” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said. 

The two companies made the announcement at the Cisco Live event in Amsterdam early Tuesday. It’s part of an effort to spread the deployment of AI hardware beyond its current concentration in data centers owned by Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Meta Platforms Inc.

That group of so-called hyperscalers represents a potentially risky concentration of revenue for Nvidia. Though demand for the company’s chips remains insatiable, those customers could ultimately use more of their own technology. They’re all either working on their own chips or have already begun adopting them in some way. 

Cisco’s largest sales team will sell Nvidia-based servers combined with its Ethernet networking gear. Nvidia offers an alternative called InfiniBand in its own products. The closer tie-up with Cisco gives Nvidia better access to customers who prefer to stick with the more widely used standard for transferring data between computers.

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