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Computing

How to watch Nvidia’s RTX 4090 launch at GTC 2022

Nvidia kicks of its fall GTC 2022 event next week, where we’ll probably see the launch of the RTX 4090. Although Nvidia is tight-lipped as ever about what products it has in store, a slew of leaks and rumors have shown that we’ll see the launch of the RTX 4090 — and possibly other GPUs — during the keynote.

It’s possible we’ll see more than just next-generation GPUs as well. Here’s how to watch the RTX 4090 launch live and what to expect out of the presentation.

How to watch the Nvidia RTX 4090 launch at GTC 2022

NVIDIA GTC 2022 Keynote Teaser

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang will deliver the company’s GTC 2022 keynote on Tuesday, September 20, at 8 a.m. PT. The presentation will likely be streamed on Nvidia’s YouTube channel, but you can bookmark the stream link on Nvidia’s website as well. We’ll embed the stream here once it’s available, but in the meantime, you can watch a short teaser for the event above.

Although the executive keynote is what most people tune in for, Nvidia’s fall GTC event lasts most of the week. It runs from September 19 to September 22, fully virtual. You can attend additional developer sessions — you can register and build a schedule on Nvidia’s GTC landing page — but they’ll focus on how developers can use Nvidia’s tools, not new product announcements.

Registration is required to attend the developer sessions. The keynote doesn’t require registration, however, and should steam on Nvidia’s YouTube channel.

What to expect from the Nvidia RTX 4090 launch

The first thing you should expect from the RTX 4090 launch is, well, the RTX 4090. Although Nvidia hasn’t confirmed any details about the card, or even that it’s called the RTX 4090, we saw the full specs leak a few days ago. According to the leak, Nvidia will announce the RTX 4090 and two RTX 4080 models — a 12GB variant and a 16GB variant.

It’s all but confirmed that Nvidia will launch its next-gen GPUs, which rumors say could offer double the performance of the current generation. Some leakers are saying the key feature of these cards is a configurable TDP. The story goes that each card will have a base power draw that’s in-line with what you’d expect from a GPU, but that users will be able to dedicate more power to the card for increased performance.

There’s a chance we’ll see more than the new cards, too. Nvidia has been teasing something called Project Beyond for a couple of weeks, posting vague videos to the GeForce Twitter account that show a desktop setup adorned with various clues. One recent video showed the PC starting a render in Adobe Media Encoder, suggesting it may have something to do with creative apps.

Speed matters…#ProjectBeyond
9.20.22
8AM PDT pic.twitter.com/Y2TM8KSJQn

— NVIDIA Studio (@NVIDIAStudio) September 16, 2022

Although it’s possible Project Beyond is just Nvidia’s branding for the RTX 4090 launch, it’s probably something different. In Nvidia’s most recent earnings call, the company said that it planned to reach “new segments of the market … with our gaming technology.”

That could mean anything, but we can still make some informed guesses. Last year, Nvidia shared a demo of games running on ARM PCs, laying the groundwork for ARM-based gaming in the future. Although Nvidia’s acquisition of ARM fell through, there’s still a good chance the companies are working closely together.

New segments of the market could mean PCs that don’t use traditional x86 CPUs like the ones offered by Intel and AMD. This is pure speculation, but ARM gaming has been a big focus of Nvidia for a while, and the company provides several of its gaming features for developers working on ARM applications.

Project Beyond could also be a tool for creators. Not only has Nvidia teased video encoding, but CEO Jensen Huang specifically called out streamers, vloggers, and other types of content creators during the company’s most recent earnings call.

We’ll need to wait until the keynote before knowing for sure, though. The RTX 4090 announcement is almost a sure deal, but it looks like Nvidia will have an extra surprise in store, as well.

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AI

Nvidia online GTC event will feature 200 sessions on AI, the metaverse, and Omniverse

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Nvidia said it will host its next GTC conference virtually from Sept. 19 to September 22, featuring a keynote by CEO Jensen Huang and more than 200 tech sessions.

Huang will talk about AI and the Omniverse, which is Nvidia’s simulation environment for creating metaverse-like virtual worlds. More than 40 of the 200 talks will focus on the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One. I’ll be moderating a session on the industrial applications of the metaverse with speakers from Mercedes-Benz, Siemens and Magic Leap executives, as well Metaverse book author Matthew Ball.

GTC will also feature a fireside chat with Turing Award winners Yoshua Bengio, Geoff Hinton and Yann
LeCun discussing how AI will evolve and help solve challenging problems. The discussion will be
moderated by Sanja Fidler, vice president of AI Research at Nvidia.

GTC talks will explore some of the key advances driving AI and the metaverse — including large language
models, natural language processing, digital twins, digital biology, robotics and climate science.

Major talks

Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, introduces Omniverse Avatar.
Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, introduces Omniverse Avatar.

Other major talks will explore:

  • BMW, ILM, Kroger, Lowe’s, Siemens, Nvidia and others on using digital twins for a range of applications, from manufacturing to neurosurgery to climate modeling
  • ByteDance’s deployment of large-scale GPU clusters for machine learning and deep learning
  • Medtronic’s use of AI for robotic surgery and the operating room of the future
  • Boeing’s digital transformation enabling aircraft engineering and production to be more flexible and efficient
  • Deutsche Bank’s adoption of AI and cloud technologies to improve the customer experience
  • Johnson & Johnson’s use of hybrid cloud computing for healthcare, plus a session on its use of quantum computing simulation for pharmaceutical research
  • How pharmaceutical companies can use transformer AI models and digital twins to accelerate drug discovery
  • United Nations and Nvidia scientists discussing AI for climate modeling, including disaster prediction, deforestation and agriculture
  • Amazon Web Services, Ericsson, Verizon and Nvidia leaders describing augmented- and virtual-reality applications for 5G and optimizing 5G deployment with digital twins
  • Adobe, Pixar and Nvidia leaders explaining how Universal Scene Description is becoming a standard for the metaverse.

Nvidia said GTC offers a range of sessions tailored for many different audiences, including business executives, data scientists, enterprise IT leaders, designers, developers, researchers and students. It will have content for participants at all stages of their careers with learning-and-development
opportunities, many of which are free.

Developers, researchers and students can sign up for 135 sessions on a broad range of topics, including:

  • 5 Paths to a Career in AI
  • Accelerating AI workflows and maximizing investments in cloud infrastructure
  • The AI journey from academics to entrepreneurship
  • Applying lessons from Kaggle-winning solutions to real-world problems
  • Developing HPC applications with standard C++, Fortran and Python
  • Defining the quantum-accelerated supercomputer
  • Insights from Nvidia Research

Attendees can sign up for hands-on, full-day technical workshops and two-hour training labs offered by the Nvidia Deep Learning Institute (DLI). Twenty workshops are available in multiple time zones and languages, and more than 25 free training labs are available in accelerated computing, computer vision, data science, conversational AI, natural language processing and other topics.

Registrants may attend free two-hour training labs or sign up for full-day DLI workshops at a discounted
rate of $99 through Thursday, Aug. 29, and $149 through GTC.

Insights for business leaders

BMW Group is using Omniverse to build a digital factory that will mirror a real-world place.
BMW Group used Nvidia’s Omniverse to build a digital twin factory that will mirror a real-world place.

This GTC will feature more than 30 sessions from companies in key industry sectors, including financial services, industrial, retail, automotive and healthcare. Speakers will share detailed insights to advance business using AI and metaverse technology, including: building AI centers; the business value of digital twins; and new technologies that will define how we live, work and play.

In addition to those from the companies listed above, senior executives from AT&T, BMW, Fox Sports,
Lucid Motors, Medtronic, Meta, NIO, Pinterest, Polestar, United Airlines and U.S. Bank are among the
industry leaders scheduled to present.

Sessions for startups

NVIDIA Inception, a global program with more than 11,000 startups, will host several sessions, including:

● AI for VCs: Six startup leaders describe how they are driving advancements from robotics to
restaurants
● How NVIDIA Inception startups are advancing healthcare and life sciences
● How NVIDIA technologies can help startups
● Revolutionizing agriculture with AI in emerging markets

Registration is free and open now. Huang’s keynote will be livestreamed on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 8 a.m. Pacific and available on demand afterward. Registration is not required to view the keynote.

I asked Nvidia why it is doing the event virtually again, given a lot of conferences are happening in-person. The company said that, when planning this event many months ago, Covid-19 remained unpredictable and the numbers were rising again, so it felt safer to run virtually. This also allowed Nvidia to include more developers and tech leaders from around the world.

Virtual Jensen Huang of Nvidia.
Virtual Jensen Huang of Nvidia.

As for the Omniverse and metaverse, Nvidia said GTC will once again be about AI and computing across a variety of domains from the data center to the cloud to the edge. 

More than 40 of the event’s 200-plus sessions will focus on the metaverse, and Huang will use his keynote to share the latest breakthroughs in Omniverse, among other technologies. 

Here are some of the other metaverse session highlights: 

  • Wes Rhodes, Kroger’s VP of Technology Transformation and R&D, will participate in a fireside chat on using simulation and digital twins for optimizing store layouts and checkout. 
  • Cedrik Neike, Board Member and CEO of Digital Industries at Siemens AG, will describe how Siemens is working with Nvidia to build photorealistic, physics-based industrial digital twins. 
  • Executives from Lowe’s Innovation Labs will explain how the metaverse will help customers visualize room design. 
  • Anima Anandkumar, Senior Director of ML Research at Nvidia, and Karthik Kashinath, AI-HPC scientist and Earth-2 engineering lead, will share progress towards building Nvidia’s Earth-2 digital twin. 
  • Industrial Light & Magic will describe how digital artists are using Omniverse to create photorealistic digital sets and environments that can be manipulated in real time. 

Other metaverse-related talks will focus on: 

  • Using digital twins to automate factories and operate robots safely alongside humans
  • Building large-scale, photorealistic worlds
  • Using digital twins for brain surgery

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Categories
AI

What will Jensen Huang cook up in his GTC keynote?

This article is part of the VB Lab / Nvidia GTC insight series.


NVIDIA is hosting another of its trademark GTC events next week, and many are wondering what CEO Jensen Huang might be cooking up in his November 9th keynote.

Judging by a few of his past keynotes, we think it’s safe to assume that he’ll focus on five major areas.

Accelerated computing: This has long been NVIDIA’s stock-in-trade — the combination of  GPUs and specialized software delivering outsized performance in a variety of domains. Gaming is an obvious example, with recent advances like RTX graphics and DLSS boosting performance and realism. But the same principle applies, as well, to dozens of other fields from data analytics to molecular biology to machine learning. We’re not expecting a new chip architecture, but NVIDIA likes to use these events to unveil new systems and software.

Data center: Jensen typically highlights new developments in cloud, data center and high-performance computing. The company has been moving more deeply into networking since closing its acquisition of Mellanox 18 months ago, and there could be more to hear there.

Omniverse: At recent GTCs, Jensen has talked a lot about Omniverse, the company’s platform for virtual collaboration and simulation, and the ability to create digital twins of structures from the physical world. We expect to hear how more companies are using it, and maybe see some cool demos.

Artificial intelligence: It’s a safe bet to assume that the company will reveal new software and research to advance AI from the cloud to the edge. NVIDIA’s been doing a lot of work recently in natural language processing, so we’re hoping to hear potential breakthroughs in conversational AI.

Robotics and self-driving cars: It’s been over a year since the company announced a partnership with Mercedes-Benz to help the German automaker build autonomous vehicles. We’re interested in seeing any updates on this, and whether they have any more news for robotics, beyond their recent announcement of a robotics developer toolbox.

The GTC keynote will premiere on Tuesday, November 9th, at 12 am PST; and will be re-broadcasted at 8 am PST for viewers in the Americas. No registration is required to view it.


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Categories
AI

Nvidia’s GTC will draw 200K researchers for online event including metaverse session

Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next. 


The metaverse may be the stuff of science fiction, but it’s going to make an appearance at a pretty serious tech event: Nvidia’s annual GPU Technology Conference (GTC), an online event happening November 8-11.

GTC expected to draw more than 200,000 attendees including innovators, researchers, thought leaders, and decision-makers. More than 500 sessions focus on deep learning, data science, HPC, robotics, data center/networking, and graphics. Speakers will discuss the latest breakthroughs in healthcare, transportation, manufacturing, retail, finance, telecoms, and more.

I’m moderating a session on the vision for the metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One. The panelists include Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games; Morgan McGuire, chief scientist at Roblox; Willim Cui, vice president of Tencent Games; Jinsoo Jeon, head of metaverse at SK Telecom; Rev Lebaredian, vice president of simulation technology and Omniverse engineering at Nvidia; Christina Heller, CEO of Metastage; and Patrick Cozzi, CEO of Cesium. (We’ll air the panel at our own GamesBeat Summit Next event on November 9-10.)

“It’s a different twist to have a metaverse session,” said Estes. “You know that the metaverse has become top of mind with so many other companies talking about it. Omniverse [the metaverse for engineers] is our product in that area. And so we’re, we’re clearly leaning into that, but Omniverse isn’t the only thing going on. And so we were welcoming and embracing other other conversations about that, because in typical Nvidia fashion, a lot of our success model is the fact that we are Switzerland. We’re a platform and a lot of companies are doing great work on our platform. ”

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That’s the general spirit of a lot of the sessions at GTC, Estes said.

Jensen Huang is CEO of Nvidia. He gave a virtual keynote at the recent GTC event.

Above: Jensen Huang is CEO of Nvidia. He gave a virtual keynote at the recent GTC event in the spring and will do so again in November.

Image Credit: Nvidia

“GTC is is attendees can hear from innovators who are in the same general space, but they’re taking different approaches to things,” Estes said. “There are a lot of things about the metaverse that are complementary to the Omniverse.”

Other companies represented among the speakers include Amazon, Arm, AstraZeneca, Baidu, BMW, Domino’s, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Ford, Google, Kroger, Microsoft, MIT, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, OpenAI, Palo Alto Networks, Red Hat, Rolls-Royce, Salesforce, Samsung, ServiceNow, Snap, Stanford University, Volvo, and Walmart.

And Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang will announce new AI technologies and products in his keynote presentation, which will be livestreamed on Nov. 9 at 9 am Central European Time/4 pm China Standard Time/12 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. It will be rebroadcast at 8 am PST for viewers in the Americas.

“It’s fair to say that you can expect to hear product and technology announcements. From Jensen, you can expect to hear about new partnerships and lots of examples of actually implementing AI on the leading edge,” Estes said. “We’ll have a number of examples of lighthouse customers and end users and our ecosystem partners.”

Online-only approach

Nvidia's Cambridge-1 will be available to external U.K. scientists.

Above: Nvidia’s Cambridge-1 will be available to external U.K. scientists.

Image Credit: Nvidia

It’s the second major GTC event of the year. Traditional, Nvidia held a big event in the spring and then a lot of smaller regional events. But with the pandemic, that has evolved into two major online events, said Greg Estes, vice president of corporate marketing and developer programs at Nvidia, in an interview with VentureBeat.

Because of the delta variant of COVID-19, Nvidia opted to do another online-only event for the fall GTC.

“As for going back to physical events, we’re hoping for the spring but it’s of course hard to say,” Estes said. “On the other hand, I can’t see us doing physical-only ever again. There will always be really solid digital components going forward. It’s just been too successful. People like it a lot. And we draw a lot more people. And also we can also get to some speakers that we couldn’t get to before.”

Nvidia will make sessions available for viewing after the event.

“We’re expecting more than 200,000 registrations, which is what we had in the spring,” Estes said. “It’s just a fantastic thing to have that much interest and that many connections. For our developer community, we take all the GTC session and we make them available in perpetuity for free. We archive these talks on Nvidia on demand.”

For social interaction, Nvidia is using a third-party app dubbed BrainDate to arrange meetings. But Estes note that due to the resurgence in COVID that the company wasn’t comfortable having a lot of in-person gatherings yet. Over time, he expects that virtual reality meetings, events, and collaborations will take off, as it can be more convenient than travel for a lot of people.

“AI technology is evolving so quickly that it makes sense to have more than one event a year,” Estes said.

Other sessions

GPUs in the Nvidia Cambrigde-1.

Above: GPUs in the Nvidia Cambrigde-1.

Image Credit: Nvidia

Ilya Sutskever, chief scientist at OpenAI, will discuss the history of deep learning and what the future might hold. Fei-Fei Li, professor of computer science at Stanford University, will discuss ambient intelligence (smart, sensor-based solutions) to illuminate the dark spaces of healthcare and take part in a Q&A with Kimberly Powell, Nvidia’s vice president of healthcare.

Bei Yang, vice president and technology studio executive at Disney Imagineering, will discuss how the company is using advanced technologies to “imagineer” the metaverse.

Shashi Bhushan, principal AI software and systems architect at Lockheed Martin, will describe how the company is using Nvidia Omniverse, the “metaverse for engineers,” to predict and fight wildfires.

Ross Krambergar, digital solutions for production planning at BMW, will describe how BMW is utilizing Nvidia Omniverse to realize their vision for a digital twin factory of the future to increase manufacturing flexibility.

Keith Perry, chief information officer at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, will explain how they used data science to advance treatments for life-threatening diseases in children. Nir Zuk, chief technology officer at Palo Alto Networks, will speak about AI for cybersecurity.

Anima Anandkumar, director of machine learning research at Nvidia and professor at Caltech, will speak in a panel on measuring and mitigating bias in AI models and run a session on advances in the convergence of AI and scientific computing.

Keith Strier, vice president of worldwide AI initiatives at Nvidia, and Mark Andrijanič, minister for digital transformation of Slovenia, will participate in a fireside chat to discuss how countries need to invest in AI, including infrastructure and data scientists.

Scientists at MIT, Amazon Web Services’ Sustainable Data Initiative, and Nvidia will explain how a group of public and private sector entities is providing climate data to scientists.

An expert panel will talk about the potential of Universal Scene Description (USD) for 3D creators in all industries. The panel includes Sebastian Grassia, project lead for USD at Pixar; Mohsen Rezayat, chief solutions architect at Siemens; Shawn Dunn, senior product manager at Epic Games; Simon Haegler, senior software developer at Esri R&D Center Zurich; Hilda Espinal, chief technology officer at CannonDesign; and Michael Kass, senior distinguished engineer at Nvidia.

Axel Gern, CTO at Daimler Trucks, will explain the strategy, challenges and opportunities of developing software-defined trucks for an autonomous future.

And Nvidia’s graphics wizards will reveal the technologies they used to create a virtual Jensen for the previous spring GTC keynote.

Emerging markets

Nvidia's Inception AI startups are from the green countries.

Above: Nvidia’s Inception AI startups are from the green countries.

Image Credit: Nvidia

GTC will feature a series of sessions focused on business and technical topics in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Speakers from organizations and universities, such as the Kenya AI Center of Excellence, Ethiopian Motion Design and Visual Effects Community, Python Ghana, Nairobi Women in Machine Learning & Data Science, and Chile Inria Research Center, will describe how emerging market developers are using AI to address challenges.

“We have more international speakers, and more content that shifts towards Europe in the Middle East,” Estes said. “AI is the center of gravity, but it’s not the only thing we’re doing. One of the things people are talking about is conversational AI. It touches a lot of different industries, from chatbots for call centers to healthcare, where you have doctor who may have a patient where English isn’t their first language.”

A panel dubbed Bridging the Last Mile Gap with AI Education will feature cxperts and community leaders in Africa as they explain how they are democratizing AI and solving real-world challenges.

Latin American government, industry and academia will discuss the state of the AI ecosystem in Latin America and how to empower researchers and educators with GPUs and AI.

Experts will discuss natural language processing resources to build conversational AI for medium- and low-resource languages such as those in Africa, Arabia, and India.

Inception Venture Capital Alliance

Nvidia's Inception program has 8,500 AI startups.

Above: Nvidia’s Inception program has 8,500 AI startups.

Image Credit: Nvidia

Nvidia’s Inception AI program educates more than 8,500 companies that have potential for disruption. And Nvidia execs will talk about the company’s AI strategy and direction, focused on developers, startups, computing platforms, enterprise customers, and corporate development. More than 70 startups will share their business models involving conversational AI, drug discovery, autonomous systems, emerging markets, and other areas.

The panel will include Greg Estes, VP of corporate marketing and developer programs; Manuvir Das, head of enterprise computing; Shanker Trivedi, SVP of worldwide enterprise business; Vishal Bhagwati, head of corporate development; Mat Torgow, head of venture capital business development; and Kari Briski, VP of software product management for AI/HPC.

Ozzy Johnson, director of solutions architecture at Nvidia, will discuss technologies and key frameworks to accelerate a startup’s journey.

The pandemic has spurred investment and innovation in the healthcare and life sciences (HCLS) industry. Despite economic uncertainty, HCLS AI startups raised record funding. This panel will include the CEOs from startups Cyclica in biotech, IBEX in pathology, and Rayshape in ultrasound, moderated by Renee Yao, head of global healthcare AI startups at Nvidia, and cover AI in healthcare trends, challenges, and technical breakthroughs.

Diversity & Inclusion

Nvidia's Omniverse is a way to collaborate in simulated worlds.

Above: Nvidia’s Omniverse is a way to collaborate in simulated worlds.

Image Credit: Nvidia

GTC is structured as an open, all-access event available to virtually any community around the world. Sessions have been curated to inform and inspire developers, researchers, scientists, educators, professionals, and students from historically underrepresented groups.

Topics will include building better datasets and making AI more inclusive. Nvidia partners with organizations including LatinX in AI, Tech Career and W.AI in Israel, and Ewha Womans University of Korea to offer complimentary access to Nvidia Deep Learning Institute workshops for diverse communities.

“We’re doing a lot of educational programs and training with our Deep Learning Institute, and doing other initiatives with educators from historically black colleges and universities, and we’re doing things in Africa,” Estes said. “We’re doing things specifically targeting women in technology to try to bring these communities which have historically been underrepresented to train them better to avail them of the leading thinking to work with educators.”

Nvidia offers free teaching kits for educators to get children interested in AI and engineering.

“It’s important that we’re talking to the next generation coming up, helping both younger people and then mid-career professionals who want to learn new skills, ” Estes said.

One of the diversity sessions brings together academics, industry experts and the founder of W.AI to discuss how to help more women join the field of data science and AI through mentoring opportunities and supporting advanced degree enrollment.

Louis Stewart, head of strategic initiatives for Nvidia’s Developer Ecosystem, will speak with faculty and student researchers from the Africana Digital Ethnography Project on efforts to build new and unique datasets for better natural language understanding from all parts of the world.

An AI for Smart City session will talk about where AI has been deployed to solve urban challenges, ethical challenges associated with using AI in urban settings, and how it could address challenges stemming from urbanization, failing infrastructure, traffic management, population health difficulties, energy crises, and more.

The event will have regional speakers from Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Israel, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and southern Asia Pacific.

“There are smart people everywhere. And that’s a really important theme,” Estes said. “There is no reason in the world why certain countries should have an advantage over others when it comes to the brainpower of people doing AI work. We’re putting energy into reaching out to those communities. Africa is the example I gave earlier, but certainly in Latin America, and all across Asia Pacific, there is good thinking and great work being done today. In Singapore, and Vietnam, and other areas like that. And for us to be able to kind of bring that together in one place is really cool.”

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Categories
AI

Microsoft details the latest developments in machine learning at GTC 21

This article is part of the VB Lab Microsoft / NVIDIA GTC insight series.


With the rapid pace of change taking place in AI and machine learning technology, it’s no surprise Microsoft had its usual strong presence at this year’s NVIDIA GTC event.

Representatives of the company shared their latest machine learning innovations in multiple sessions, covering inferencing at scale, a new capability to train machine learning models across hybrid environments, and the debut of the new PyTorch Profiler that will help data scientists be more efficient when they’re analyzing and troubleshooting ML performance issues.

In all three cases, Microsoft has paired its own technologies, like Azure, with open source tools and NVIDIA’s GPU hardware and technologies to create these powerful new innovations.

Inferencing at scale

Much is made of the costs associated with collecting data and training machine learning models. Indeed, the bill for computation can be high, especially with large projects — into the millions of dollars. Inferencing, which is essentially the application of a trained model, is discussed less often in the conversation about the compute costs associated with AI. But as deep learning models become increasingly complex, they involve huge mathematical expressions and many floating point operations, even at inference time.

Inferencing is an exciting wing of AI to be in, because it’s the step at which teams like Microsoft Azure are delivering an actual experience to a user. For instance, the Azure team worked with NVIDIA to improve the AI-powered grammar checker in Microsoft Word. The task is not about training a model to offer better grammar checking; it’s about powering the inferencing engine that actually performs the grammar checking.

Given Word’s massive user base, that’s a computationally intensive task — one that has comprised billions of inferences. There are two interrelated concerns: one is technical, and the other is financial. To reduce costs, you need more powerful and efficient technology.

NVIDIA developed the Triton Inference Server to harness the horsepower of those GPUs and marry it with Azure Machine Learning for inferencing. Together, they help you get your workload tuned and running well. And they support all of the popular frameworks, like PyTorch, TensorFlow, MXNet, and ONNX.

ONNX Runtime is a high-performance inference engine that leverages various hardware accelerators to achieve optimal performance on different hardware configurations. Microsoft closely collaborated with NVIDIA on the TensorRT accelerator integration in ONNX Runtime for model acceleration on NVIDIA GPUs. ONNX Runtime is enabled as one backend in Triton Server.

Azure Machine Learning is a managed platform-as-a-service platform that does most of the management work for users. This speaks to scale, which is the point at which too many AI projects flounder or even perish. It’s where technological concerns sometimes crash into the financial ones, and Triton and Azure Machine Learning are built to solve that pain point.

Making ML model training across on-premise and multi-cloud, or hybrid and multi-cloud, easier with Kubernetes

Creating a hybrid environment can be challenging, and the need to scale resource-intensive ML model training can complicate matters further. Flexibility, agility, and governance are key needs.

The Azure Arc infrastructure lets customers with Kubernetes assets apply policies, perform security monitoring, and more, all in a “single pane of glass.” Now, the Azure Machine Learning integration with Kubernetes builds on this infrastructure by extending the Kubernetes API. On top of that, there’s native Kubernetes code concepts like operators and CI/CDs, and an “agent” runs on the cluster and enables customers to do ML training using Azure Machine Learning.

Regardless of a user’s mix of clusters, Azure Machine Learning lets users easily switch targets. Frameworks that the Azure Machine Learning Kubernetes native agent supports include SciKit, TensorFlow, PyTorch, and MPI.

The native agent smooths organizational gears, too. It removes the need for data scientists to learn Kubernetes, and the IT operators who do know Kubernetes don’t have to learn machine learning.

PyTorch Profiler

The new PyTorch Profiler, an open source contribution from Microsoft and Facebook, offers GPU performance tuning for popular machine learning framework PyTorch. The debugging tool promises to help data scientists and developers more efficiently analyze and troubleshoot large-scale deep learning model performance to maximize the hardware usage of expensive computational resources.

In machine learning, profiling is the task of examining the performance of your models. This is distinct from looking at model accuracy; performance, in this case, is about how efficiently and thoroughly a model is using hardware compute resources.

It builds on the existing PyTorch autograd profiler, enhancing it with a high-fidelity GPU profiling engine that allows users to capture and correlate information about PyTorch operations and detailed GPU hardware-level information.

PyTorch Profiler requires minimal effort to set up and use. It’s fully integrated, part of the new Profiler profile module, new libkineto library, and PyTorch Tensorboard Profiler plugin. You can also visualize it all Visual Studio Code. It’s meant for beginners and experts alike, across use cases from research to production, and it’s complementary to NVIDIA’s more advanced NSight.

One of PyTorch Profiler’s key features is its timeline tracing. Essentially, it shows CPU and GPU activities and lets users zoom in on what’s happening with each. You can see all the operators that are typical PyTorch operators, as well as more high-level Python models and the GPU timeline.

One common scenario that users may see in the PyTorch Profiler is instances of low GPU utilization. A tiny gap in the GPU visualization represents, say, 40 milliseconds when the GPU was not busy. Users want to optimize that empty space and give the GPU something to do. PyTorch Profiler enables them to drill down and see what the dependencies were and what events preceded that idle gap. They could trace the issue back to the CPU and see that it was the bottleneck; the GPU was sitting there waiting for data to be read by another part of the system.

Examining inefficiencies at such a microscopic level may seem utterly trivial, but if a step is only 150 milliseconds, a 40-millisecond gap in GPU activity is a rather large percentage of the whole step. Now consider that a project may run for hours, or even weeks at a time, and it’s clear why losing such a large chunk of every step is woefully inefficient in terms of getting your money’s worth from the compute cycles you’re paying for.

PyTorch Profiler also comes with built-in recommendations to guide model builders for common problems and possible. In the above example, you may simply need to tweak DataLoader’s number of workers to ensure the GPU stays busy at all times.

Don’t miss these GTC 2021 sessions. Watch on demand at the links below:


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AI

World-leading AI research and inclusion at the forefront of this year’s NVIDIA GTC

This article is part of the VB Lab / NVIDIA GTC insight series


“The story of GTC is in many ways the story of NVIDIA, and it’s also the story of what’s happening in technology,” says Greg Estes, VP of corporate marketing and developer programs at NVIDIA.

Twelve years ago, GTC began as a conference focused squarely on GPUs, and at that time, that meant primarily graphics and gaming. “But then people figured out that GPUs are the perfect architecture for AI,” says Estes.

GTC is now billed as the conference for AI innovators, developers, technologists, startups and creatives, and this year it will offer over 1,500 sessions covering breakthroughs in AI, data center, accelerated computing, autonomous vehicles, health care, intelligent networking, game development, and more. This year’s event will take place online April 12 – 16, 2021, free for registered participants.

The week-long event kicks off with a keynote on April 12 at 8:30 a.m. PDT with NVIDIA’s CEO and founder Jensen Huang. Along with exciting announcements, he’s set to share the company’s vision for computing that scales from the edge to the data center to the cloud. Following the keynote are panels from the world’s leading researchers along with thought leaders from top companies, including Adobe, Amazon, Facebook, GE Renewable Energy, Google, MIT, Microsoft, Salesforce, and Stanford University.

“We bring together the people who are taking the leading edge of technology and making it deployable across businesses and industries of all kinds,” Estes says. “You’ll hear everything from bleeding edge, just-invented-last-week technology to the platform solutions that can be securely deployed in your data center. There’s no other place you’ll find this huge range of insight and expertise.”

That’s why GTC has grown so large, from its 2009 debut in a San Jose hotel ballroom to the sprawling behemoth that will attract more than 100,000 attendees and an A-list line-up of speakers this year.

That includes Turing Award winners like Geoffrey Hinton, Yoshua Bengio, and Yann LeCun; AI pioneers like Juergen Schmidhuber; MacArthur Fellowship Award winner Daphne Koller; Gordon Bell Award winners for COVID research Rommie Amaro and Lillian Chong; autonomous vehicle pioneer Raquel Urtasun; and many more, in addition to a number of NVIDIA’s own researchers, including Anima Anandkumar and Sanja Fidler.

“GTC has now become a magnet for business leaders, developers, and startups to talk about what they’re doing as they implement AI and data science across their work, from health care, automotive and transportation to energy research, retail, media, and entertainment,” says Estes.

“The Da Vincis and Curies of our time are at GTC,” he adds. “Where else do you get to hang out with those people?”

Spotlight on autonomous vehicles and health care

In addition to the vast breadth of topics, the conference is putting emphasis on two major tech topics this year: autonomous vehicle technology and health care.

Autonomous vehicle tech is evolving rapidly, and so is the industry. AI is creating an opportunity for new entrants into the field, shaking up a playing ground that had long been dominated by the major auto players, and opening new business models to automakers. This year, leading thinkers from two dozen autonomous vehicle startups including Aurora, Cruise, and Zoox will be presenting, Estes says, alongside the world’s largest automakers, including Audi, Ford, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

“When you think about the toughest problems in AI, autonomous vehicle technology is far and away at the top of the list,” he says. “As a research area, dealing with the complexity of the neural networks, sensors, and data, plus keeping things secure, is very rich.”

In the health care arena, AI has played a major role in everything from COVID-19 research to cancer detection, genomics, and more, all the way through climate studies and other essential research on the many things that impact human health. Several NVIDIA Inception startups, the company’s AI startup acceleration platform, are leading the charge in health care.

“The diversity of health care research comes together at GTC — the combination of researchers, doctors, and companies focused on drug discovery is unique compared with other health care conferences,” Estes says.

Inclusion and representation, expanding into new economies

NVIDIA is committed to making GTC a forum for all communities to engage with the leading-edge of AI, data science, and other ground-breaking technologies, Estes says. “These world-changing technologies affect everyone, which means it’s more important than ever to ensure everyone’s voices are heard.” Overall, GTC attracts attendees from 165 countries.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work to make GTC more inclusive for women, underrepresented communities, and developers from emerging countries,” Estes says. “We have an amazing and diverse group of speakers to inspire the next generation regardless of what they look like or where they come from.”

That includes several hundred women speakers, including Hildegard Wortmann, on the board of management at Audi; Victoria Uti, director and principal research engineer at Kroger Technology, and Amy Bunszel, senior vice president of product at Autodesk.

NVIDIA is also creating pathways to learning for those new to AI and deep learning, which includes free seats for day-long certification classes at the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute. Partners comprise minority-serving institutions such as Norfolk State, Howard University, North Carolina A&T University, San Jose State University, and Bowie State University, and tech organizations like Black in AI, Black Tech Nation, Data Science Salon, LatinX in AI, and Qwasar.

NVIDIA’s inclusion efforts also encompass outreach to developers in emerging technology centers, including Africa, Latin America, and southeast Asia, for which they will feature the work of startups and rising developers building AI in their regions.

GTC will also highlight innovative work being done by scientists such as Dr. Nashlie Sephus, who is transforming 12 acres of abandoned land in Mississippi into a $25M tech hub, as well as Black futurist Justin Shaifer, and the Hip Hop MD, Maynard Okereke, as they co-moderate a panel on the importance of educating youth to be more AI literate. There will also be networking opportunities for underrepresented communities, including GTC’s popular Dinner with Strangers series. The series provides an opportunity to meet new people who share similar interests, build connections, and foster career growth.

Get all the details about GTC 2021 right here. Registration is free.


VB Lab Insights content is created in collaboration with a company that is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. Content produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. For more information, contact sales@venturebeat.com.

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Tech News

Nvidia’s GTC 2020 goes digital as rumors of next-gen ‘Ampere’ GeForce GPUs whirl

The dominoes continue to fall. Nvidia’s GTC 2020 conference will be “an online event due to growing concern over the coronavirus,” following the cancellation of Mobile World Conference, the Game Developers Conference, and others, the company announced Monday. The show will still go on, but only in virtual form—and despite it being a dev conference, it could be a momentous event for consumers hoping to hear more about next-gen “Ampere” GeForce graphics cards.

“[Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang] will still give a keynote,” the company’s GTC 2020 portal now says. “We will still share our announcements. And we’ll work to ensure our speakers can share their talks. But we’ll do this all online.” The company also says that “For those in Nvidia’s developer program, we plan to schedule availability with our researchers, engineers and solution architects to answer technical questions.”

Nvidia hasn’t hinted at what Huang’s keynote will cover, but a cryptic teaser during the company’s recent financial call has set the rumor mill abuzz. To close out the call, Huang said “We’ll be talking a lot more about these key trends and much more at next month’s GTC Conference in San Jose. Come join me, you won’t be disappointed,” per Motley Fool’s transcription.

Cue the “Ampere is coming” hype posts.

nvidia volta tesla v100 Nvidia

Nvidia’s Jensen Huang revealed the “Volta” GPU at GTC 2017.

To be clear, Nvidia hasn’t confirmed anything about its next-generation GPUs. It hasn’t said they’re code-named “Ampere.” It hasn’t said they’ll be built using the 7-nanometer process technology, which helped bring great power and performance gains to AMD’s rival Radeon graphics cards. And it hasn’t said that new GeForce graphics cards are coming this year.

All three are expected, however, and the timing lines up. Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards launched all the way back in August 2018, so we’re about due for a refresh. And after losing the race to 7nm to AMD, Nvidia has to be keen to position itself well before the much-teased launch of “Big Navi” Radeon GPUs later this year, as well as put its best foot forward before the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 launch this holiday season. The consoles will be built with AMD’s upcoming RDNA2 graphics architecture, complete with hardware support for real-time ray tracing—technology that Nvidia’s RTX graphics cards helped pioneer. Nvidia’s very competitive.

Mysterious Nvidia GPUs have also turned up in online benchmarks, as well.

dsc00629 Brad Chacos/IDG

The GeForce RTX 20-series is due for a refresh.

That said, if Nvidia provides a glimpse of Ampere at GTC 2020, don’t expect it to be the consumer iteration of it. Instead, we’d expect to see more details about a new architecture in the form of a Tesla GPU for data centers. Huang revealed the “Pascal” GPU architecture that eventually hit GeForce GTX 10-series graphics cards at GTX 2016 alongside the Tesla P100, while the “Volta” GPU architecture that informed much of the underlying tech of the “Turing” GPUs inside the GeForce RTX 20-series was revealed as the Tesla V100 at GTC 2017.

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