July 20 (Reuters) – Cerebras Systems said on Thursday it has signed a roughly $100 million deal to supply the first of what could be up to nine artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputers in a partnership with United Arab Emirates-based technology group G42.
The deal comes as cloud computing providers around the world look for alternatives to chips from Nvidia Corp ( NVDA.O ), the AI computing market leader whose products are in short supply thanks to the growing popularity of ChatGPT and other services. Cerebras is one of several startups that want to challenge Nvidia.
Silicon Valley-based Cerebras said G42 has agreed to buy three of what it calls the Condor Galaxy systems, all of which it will build in the United States to speed up its rollout. The first will come online this year, with two more in early 2024.
Cerebra CEO Andrew Feldman described the deal as the start of a “strategic partnership” and said the two companies are in talks for up to six additional supercomputers by the end of 2024.
Feldman plans to move to the United Arab Emirates for three months to work with G42 on developing its data processing service based on the systems, calling it “a rare opportunity to change a massive market.”
Abu Dhabi-based G42, a technology conglomerate with nine operating companies that includes data center and cloud services businesses, says it plans to use the Cerebras systems to sell AI computing services to healthcare and energy companies. G42 has raised $800 million from US technology investment firm Silver Lake, which has backing from Mudabala, the UAE’s sovereign wealth fund.
“Cerebras has what they call a ‘white glove’ service that made it easy for us” to build AI systems on their machines, G42 Cloud CEO Talal AlKaissi told Reuters.
“There will be some excess capacity that we hope to sell with Cerebras to customers in the open source AI community from many places around the world, particularly in the US ecosystem.”
G42 Cloud’s AlKaissi declined to comment on the terms of the deal.
Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco and Krystal Hu in New York; Editing by Rashmi Aich
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