Nvidia, Cisco help companies build in-house AI computing

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Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. Organizations are teaming up to make it easier to build their own AI computing infrastructure, an effort to push the technology beyond big data-center providers.

Under the arrangement announced Tuesday, Cisco will provide its networking gear as well as Nvidia-based equipment known for developing artificial intelligence models.

For Nvidia, the partnership opens another channel for its technology. Cisco, meanwhile, is capitalizing on the boom in AI spending that has helped make Nvidia the world's most valuable chipmaker.

“Working closely with Cisco, we're making it easier than ever to get the infrastructure needed to take advantage of AI, the most powerful technological force of our lifetime,” Nvidia Chief Executive Officer Jensen Huang said in a statement.

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Cisco offers M7 server computers that use Nvidia's latest processors, as well as chipmaker software, AI models and development tools. It also offers its own cloud-based software and services for monitoring and managing such systems.

“Consolidating our great partnership with Nvidia gives enterprises the technology and expertise to build, deploy, manage and deliver AI solutions at a secure scale,” said Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins.

The two companies made the announcement at the Cisco Live event in Amsterdam early Tuesday morning. It is Microsoft Corp., Amazon.com Inc., Alphabet Inc. is part of an effort to expand beyond the current concentration of AI hardware in data centers owned by Google and Meta Platforms Inc.

A group of so-called hyperscalers represent a potentially dangerous revenue stream for Nvidia. Even if demand for the company's chips remains insatiable, those customers may eventually make more use of their own technology. All of them are working on their own chips or have already started to adopt them in some way.

Cisco's largest sales force sells Nvidia-based servers in conjunction with its Ethernet networking gear. Nvidia offers an alternative called InfiniBand in its own products. A closer relationship with Cisco gives Nvidia better access to customers willing to adhere to widely used standards for transferring data between computers.

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