Japanese multinational investment firm SoftBank Corp has partnered with American multinational technology company NVIDIA on a pioneering platform for generative artificial intelligence (AI) and 5G/6G applications that is based on the NVIDIA GH200 Grace Hopper™ Superchip and which SoftBank plans to roll out at new, distributed AI data centers across Japan.

Paving the way for the rapid, worldwide deployment of generative AI applications and services, SoftBank will build data centers that can, in collaboration with NVIDIA, host generative AI and wireless applications on a multi-tenant common server platform, which reduces costs and is more energy efficient, NVIDIA said in a statement on Monday.

The platform will use the new NVIDIA MGX™ reference architecture with Arm Neoverse-based GH200 Superchips and is expected to improve performance, scalability and resource utilization of application workloads.

“As we enter an era where society coexists with AI, the demand for data processing and electricity requirements will rapidly increase,

“SoftBank will provide next-generation social infrastructure to support the super-digitalized society in Japan,” said Junichi Miyakawa, President and Chief Executive Officer of SoftBank Corp.

He said the firm’s collaboration with NVIDIA will help their infrastructure achieve a significantly higher performance with the utilization of AI, including optimization of the RAN.

“We expect it can also help us reduce energy consumption and create a network of interconnected data centers that can be used to share resources and host a range of generative AI applications,” he added.

NVIDIA Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jensen Huang said that the demand for accelerated computing and generative AI is driving a fundamental change in the architecture of data centers.

“NVIDIA Grace Hopper is a revolutionary computing platform designed to process and scale-out generative AI services,

“Like with other visionary initiatives in their past, SoftBank is leading the world to create a telecom network built to host generative AI services,” he added.

According to the statement, the new data centers will be more evenly distributed across its footprint than those used in the past, and handle both AI and 5G workloads.

This will allow them to better operate at peak capacity with low latency and at substantially lower overall energy costs.

SoftBank is exploring creating 5G applications for autonomous driving, AI factories, augmented and virtual reality, computer vision and digital twins.

Virtual RAN With Record-Breaking Throughput NVIDIA Grace Hopper and NVIDIA BlueField®-3 data processing units will accelerate the software-defined 5G vRAN, as well as generative AI applications, without bespoke hardware accelerators or specialized 5G CPUs.

Additionally, the NVIDIA Spectrum Ethernet switch with BlueField-3 will deliver a highly precise timing protocol for 5G.

The solution achieves breakthrough 5G speed on an NVIDIA accelerated 1U MGX-based server design, with industry-high throughput of 36Gbps downlink capacity, based on publicly available data on 5G accelerators, as operators have struggled to deliver such high downlink capacity using industry-standard servers.

NVIDIA MGX is a modular reference architecture that enables system manufacturers and hyperscale customers to quickly and cost-effectively build over a hundred different server variations to suit a wide range of AI, HPC and NVIDIA Omniverse™ applications.

By incorporating NVIDIA Aerial™ software for high performance, software-defined, cloud-native 5G networks, these 5G base stations will allow operators to dynamically allocate compute resources, and achieve 2.5x power efficiency over competing products.

“The future of generative AI requires high-performance, energy-efficient compute like that of the Arm Neoverse-based Grace Hopper Superchip from NVIDIA,” said Rene Haas, Chief Executive Officer of Arm.

“Combined with NVIDIA BlueField DPUs, Grace Hopper enables the new SoftBank 5G data centers to run the most demanding compute- and memory-intensive applications and bring exponential efficiency gains to software-defined 5G and AI on Arm,” he added.

NVIDIA was founded in 1993 to accelerate computing. The company’s invention of the GPU in 1999 sparked the growth of the personal computer gaming market, redefined computer graphics, ignited the era of modern AI and is fueling the creation of the industrial metaverse.

NVIDIA is now a full-stack computing company with data-center-scale offerings.

SoftBank is a firm provides telecommunications services and combines them with advanced technologies to develop and operate new businesses in Japan and globally.

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