Microsoft develops AI server gear to lessen reliance on Nvidia, The Information reports


Figurines with computers and smartphones are seen in front of Microsoft Corporation logo in this illustration taken, February 19, 2024. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) -Microsoft is developing a new network card that could improve the performance of its Maia AI server chip and potentially reduce the company's reliance on chip designer Nvidia, The Information reported on Tuesday.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has tapped Pradeep Sindhu, who co-founded networking gear developer Juniper Networks, to spearhead the network card effort, the report said citing a person with knowledge of the matter. Microsoft acquired Sindhu's server chip startup, Fungible, last year.

The new network card is similar to Nvidia's ConnectX-7 card, which the chip developer sells alongside its graphic processor units (GPUs), the report added.

The equipment could take more than a year to develop and, if successful, could lessen the time it takes for OpenAI to train its models on Microsoft servers as well as make the process less expensive, according to the report.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Microsoft has invested billions of dollars in ChatGPT-maker OpenAI and has incorporated its technology in a wide variety of products, giving the Windows-maker a leg up in the race to sell artificial-intelligence software.

The company had introduced Maia, a chip meant to run large language models and support AI computing, in November.

(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar)

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