Nvidia and Intel on Wednesday introduced a new generation of workstations the vendors developed jointly.
Nvidia and Intel's workstations -- high-performance computers that enable individual users to perform simulations -- will bring together high levels of AI computing, rendering and simulation horsepower to power workloads in data science, manufacturing, broadcast, media, entertainment and healthcare, the vendors said.
They will be powered by the latest Intel Xeon W and Intel Xeon Scalable processors, paired with Nvidia RTX 6000 Ada Generation GPUs and Nvidia ConnectX-6 SmartNIC accelerators.
Nvidia and Intel's partnership
This is not the first time Nvidia and Intel have partnered. Most recently, the two chipmakers teamed up to develop a system for energy-efficient AI.
While GPUs are essential for workstations, a lot of what goes on in the workstation is performed by a CPU, said Jack Gold, president and analyst at J.Gold Associates.
Jack GoldPresident and analyst, J.Gold Associates
"What you really need if you want a high-performance workstation is not just high-performance GPU, but high-performance CPU," Gold said.
Intel and AMD dominate the market for high-performance CPUs. So since AMD is a direct competitor to Nvidia in the GPU market, it makes better sense for Nvidia to partner with Intel -- which specializes in CPUs -- than AMD, he said.
And despite Nvidia's plans to build its own CPU, the vendor is not going to develop one equivalent to the Xeon processor, Gold continued. Similarly, Nvidia can help Intel as Intel attempts to relaunch its own GPU effort.
High computing at a cost
The new generation of workstations will also be helpful as accelerated computing power grows in generative AI text-to-image applications, extended reality, digital twins and the metaverse, according to the vendors.
However, while computer-aided design systems, oil and gas exploration, and the pharmaceutical industry might benefit from the timesaving efforts of high-end workstations, it comes at a cost.
"These machines aren't going to be cheap," Gold said, adding that they will probably cost tens of thousands of dollars each.
The expense is why some enterprises are moving to workstations-as-a-service technology instead of just buying these hardware workstations.
Another challenge for enterprises is ensuring their workloads run better on the workstations and ensuring their IT departments are able to manage the workstations, Gold added.
"The software should be optimized," he said. "Not all software is ready to take advantage of all of the capabilities that these chips have."
The new Intel-Nvidia workstations are now available for preorder.
Esther Ajao is a news writer covering artificial intelligence software and systems.