Google Cloud has become the first cloud provider to offer NVIDIA’s new A100 Tensor Core GPU.
NVIDIA made a name for itself making high-powered graphics processing units (GPU). While many people associate GPUs with gaming and video, since NVIDIA’s GeForce 8 series, released in 2006, GPUs have been making inroads in areas traditionally ruled by the central processing unit (CPU). Because of the GPU’s ability to handle large quantities of parallel data, they are ideal for offloading intensive operations, including machine learning and artificial intelligence.
The new A100 is designed with this in mind. Built on the NVIDIA Ampere architecture, the A100 boasts a 20x performance improvement for machine learning and inference computing. This represents the single biggest generational leap ever for NVIDIA.
“Google Cloud customers often look to us to provide the latest hardware and software services to help them drive innovation on AI and scientific computing workloads, ” said Manish Sainani, director of Product Management at Google Cloud. “With our new A2 VM family, we are proud to be the first major cloud provider to market NVIDIA A100 GPUs, just as we were with NVIDIA T4 GPUs. We are excited to see what our customers will do with these new capabilities.”
This will likely be a big hit with Google’s customer base, especially since machine learning support is an area where Google Cloud is particularly strong.