Tech giants collaborate to challenge Nvidia’s AI dominance

Major tech companies have united to develop an open-source software suite, promising to offer developers greater flexibility and choice, an initiative poised to reshape the landscape of AI technology.

nvidia building, nvidia headquarters

Major tech companies are joining forces to challenge Nvidia’s dominance in the AI market. According to the last reports, Intel, Google, Arm, Qualcomm, Samsung, and other tech companies have formed a group called The Unified Acceleration Foundation (UXL). The organisation aims to develop an open-source software suite that would allow AI developers to avoid being locked into Nvidia’s proprietary technology, enabling their code to run on any machine and with any chip.

The UXL group informed the media that the project’s technical details are expected to mature by the second half of this year. The project encompasses the OneAPI open standard developed by Intel, which aims to eliminate dependencies on specific coding languages and tools that tie developers to particular architectures, such as Nvidia’s CUDA platform.

Nvidia’s rapid growth, culminating in becoming the first chipmaker to hit a $2 trillion market capitalisation last month, has been driven by its focus on hardware for AI models, such as its H100 and upcoming H200 GPUs. These chips, which rely on Nvidia’s CUDA architecture, are currently superior to offerings from other chipmakers. However, the surge in demand has led to scarcity, prompting rival companies to develop alternatives. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang revealed during the company’s 2023 Computex keynote that four million developers were using the CUDA computing model.

Why does it matter?

While the initial goal of the UXL project is to open up options for AI and high-performance computing applications, the group plans to eventually support Nvidia’s hardware and code. UXL is also reaching out to additional chipmakers and cloud-computing companies like Microsoft and Amazon to ensure the solution can be deployed universally. Notably absent from the UXL coalition, Microsoft was rumoured to have partnered with AMD last year to develop alternative AI chips to challenge Nvidia’s dominance in the industry.