Exclusive: Amazon’s cloud unit evaluates AMD’s new AI chips

SAN FRANCISCO, June 14 (Reuters) – Amazon Web Services ( AMZN.O ), the world’s biggest cloud computing provider, is considering using new artificial intelligence chips from Advanced Micro Devices Inc ( AMD.O ), even though it has not reached a final assessment decision, an AWS executive told Reuters.

The remarks came during an AMD event where the chip company outlined its strategy for the AI ​​market, which is dominated by rival Nvidia Corp ( NVDA.O ).

Despite AMD revealing some technical specs for an AI chip coming later this year that could in some ways beat Nvidia’s best current offering on some metrics, the news sent shares down after AMD didn’t reveal a flagship customer for the chip.

In interviews with Reuters, AMD CEO Lisa Su outlined an approach to winning over large cloud computing customers by offering a menu of all the parts needed to build the kind of systems to run services similar to ChatGPT, but letting customers pick and choose which ones they want, using industry standard connections.

“We’re betting that a lot of people want choice, and they want the ability to customize what they need in their data center,” Su said.

While AWS has made no public commitments to use AMD’s new MI300 chips in its cloud services, Dave Brown, vice president of elastic computing at Amazon, said AWS is considering them.

“We’re still working together on exactly where that will land between AWS and AMD, but that’s something our teams are working on together,” Brown said. “That’s where we’ve benefited from some of the work they’ve done around the design that connects to existing systems.”

Nvidia sells its chips piecemeal, but also asks cloud providers if they are willing to offer an entire system designed by Nvidia in a product called DGX Cloud. Oracle Corp ( ORCL.N ) is Nvidia’s first partner for that system.

Brown said AWS had declined to work with Nvidia on the DGX Cloud offering.

“They approached us, we looked at the business model, and it didn’t make a lot of sense” for AWS because of the company’s long history of building reliable servers and existing supply chain expertise, Brown said.

Brown said AWS prefers to design its own servers from the ground up. AWS began selling Nvidia’s H100 chip in March, but as part of systems of its own design.

Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Kim Coghill

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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