Nvidia is preparing to enter the CPU market with Isambard 3

Emre Çitak
May 23, 2023
Updated • May 23, 2023

Nvidia has set its sights on a new frontier in the tech industry. Teaming up with the esteemed University of Bristol in the UK, Nvidia aims to develop a formidable supercomputer powered by a 'revolutionary' chip that poses a significant challenge to the longstanding dominance of Intel and AMD.

This move marks a departure from Nvidia's traditional GPU-centric approach and signals its determination to compete in the central processing unit (CPU) market.

Nvidia CPU
Nvidia CPUs are getting ready to compete with Intel and AMD's dominance in the market - Image: Nvidia

A new era in CPU technology

Nvidia's venture into the realm of CPUs has garnered attention with the introduction of its own chip, Grace. Unveiled earlier this year, Grace leverages Arm-based technology to deliver groundbreaking performance.

This notable development was announced during a prestigious supercomputing conference in Germany, where Nvidia revealed its collaboration with British researchers and Hewlett Packard Enterprise in the creation of Isambard 3, a supercomputer that exclusively utilizes the power of Nvidia's Grace CPU chips, omitting the inclusion of their renowned GPUs.

Isambard 3 promises a lot

Isambard 3, the flagship supercomputer powered by Nvidia's Grace CPU, holds immense promise for researchers and scientists alike. With a performance and energy efficiency six times greater than its predecessor, Isambard 2, this cutting-edge system operates on 270 kilowatts of power. The University of Bristol, one of the pioneers in leveraging Isambard's capabilities, plans to employ Isambard 3 in various research projects, including climate science and drug discovery.

Nvidia CPU
Nvidia Isambard 3 will operate with 270 kilowatts of power - Image: NVidia

Scientists eagerly anticipate the exceptional application performance efficiency offered by Isambard 3, rivaling that of the top 50 fastest TOP500 systems. This groundbreaking supercomputing platform is poised to revolutionize scientific research by pushing the boundaries of discovery and providing solutions to some of humanity's most challenging problems.

The new gladiator will join the CPU arena next year

Isambard 3's anticipated entry into production in 2024 marks a significant milestone in Nvidia's ambitions to compete with industry giants Intel and AMD. By leveraging the power of their Grace CPU and the Arm architecture, Nvidia not only expands its presence in the CPU market but also offers a transformative solution for high-performance computing.

The technological advancements showcased in Isambard 3 herald a new chapter in supercomputing, empowering researchers to tackle complex problems with increased efficiency and energy conservation. Nvidia's foray into the supercomputing landscape exemplifies its commitment to driving innovation and shaping the future of computational power.


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