NVIDIA has hinted at the possibility of introducing a standalone version of its Arm-based Grace CPU for the server segment if the right opportunity arises. Currently, the company offers Superchips that combine Grace CPU with Hopper GPU chips, providing a comprehensive solution for the AI and data center ecosystem.
This integrated design, featuring both CPU and GPU in a single package, aims to address various industry workloads. The Grace Superchips are available in GPU+CPU and CPU-only configurations within a 2-chip package.
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While this integrated approach offers versatility, some customers find themselves constrained, as they are essentially tied to using NVIDIA’s Hopper architecture or two CPUs, even when their requirements may only necessitate a single chip. Despite NVIDIA’s GPU roadmap indicating a continued focus on Superchip designs with upcoming architectures like GH200, GB200, and GX200, there are indications that a surprise announcement might be in store at the upcoming GTC. This announcement could involve NVIDIA bringing the Grace CPU or its successor into the standalone server segment.
During a Wells Fargo event, NVIDIA’s CFO, Colette Kress, was asked about the company’s plans regarding offering the Grace architecture as a standalone CPU for the server industry. While no official confirmation was provided, Kress expressed enthusiasm, suggesting that NVIDIA is considering the possibility. The Grace CPU boasts 144 cores (72 Arm Neoverse V2 per chip), supports up to 960 GB of LPDDR5X memory with a raw bandwidth of up to 1 TB/s, and has a combined power draw of 500W. Additional specifications include 117 MB of L3 cache and 58 Gen5 lanes, all implemented using the TSMC 4N process node.
Introducing standalone Grace CPUs could be a significant development for NVIDIA, especially considering the company’s extensive reach in AI markets. This move would also intensify competition with x86 solutions from companies such as Intel. Official benchmarks have already demonstrated that the Grace CPU offers competitive efficiency and performance compared to industry offerings.
Moreover, the company’s foray into standalone CPUs is not limited to servers, as the company is anticipated to enter the PC consumer market with Arm-based solutions by 2025.