Why AMD’s acquisition of Nod.ai could be a sign of things to come for Nvidia


AMD buys AI startup Nod.ai. The acquisition is designed to help the semiconductor maker compete with top dog Nvidia.

AMD, a leading manufacturer of microprocessors and graphics processors, announced Monday that it will acquire open-source AI startup Nod.ai.

Among other things, Nod.ai has developed the SHARK automation software. SHARK enables the efficient implementation of AI models on a variety of AMD products, from data centers to edge devices to endpoints. With SHARK, time-consuming manual optimizations are reduced.

“The acquisition of Nod.ai is expected to significantly enhance our ability to provide AI customers with open software that allows them to easily deploy highly performant AI models tuned for AMD hardware,” said Vamsi Boppana, senior vice president at the Artificial Intelligence Group at AMD. He noted that Nod.ai’s technologies are already widely deployed in the cloud, at the edge, and on a variety of endpoints.



Nod.ai acquisition is a strategic move to compete with Nvidia

The move is designed to allow AMD to better compete with top dog Nvidia in the AI accelerator and ecosystem market. Nvidia is currently outfitting nearly every major AI company with new hardware, such as the H100 GPU.

Nvidia saw revenue growth of more than 100 percent last quarter, while AMD’s revenue fell 18 percent – but that was better than experts expected. There could be room to grow: Nvidia’s hardware is expensive, and AI accelerators are in short supply, with big companies like Microsoft and OpenAI looking for alternatives. This could play into AMD’s hands, assuming the functionality of its AI hardware and AI services catches up.

However, Nvidia is not going to let that happen so easily: A recent investor presentation suggests the company plans to switch to annual releases of new AI hardware, with the upcoming Hopper GH200 and Blackwell GB200 coming between 2024 and 2025, and a GX200 GPU a year later.

The Nod.ai acquisition is expected to close this quarter.

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