Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Baidu admits it might by no means get forefront GPUs once more • The Register

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Chinese language net big Baidu has advised buyers its long-term planning assumes it will not be capable to entry modern GPUs, however that it could possibly beat native rivals with its superior software program stack.

“In the long term, we could not have entry to probably the most cutting-edge GPUs, however with probably the most environment friendly homegrown software program stack, net-net, the consumer expertise is not going to be compromised,” stated Baidu CEO Robin Li in the course of the outfit’s This autumn 2023 earnings name.

Li described the short-term influence of US chip sanctions as “minimal”, as a result of inferencing does not require Nvidia’s mightiest wares. Between its present reserve of chips and the merchandise it could possibly purchase, he stated Baidu maintains enough energy for “many” AI-native purposes.

“We have already got probably the most highly effective basis mannequin in China, and our AI chip reserve allows us to proceed enhancing ERNIE for the following one or two years,” argued Li. ERNIE is Baidu’s ChatGPT challenger.

“There’s ample room for innovation within the software layer, the mannequin layer, and the framework layer. Our end-to-end self-developed four-layer AI structure, together with our sturdy R&D workforce, will assist us in utilizing much less superior chips for environment friendly mannequin coaching and inferencing,” he added earlier than pivoting to name the flexibility to carry out with much less highly effective gear “a singular aggressive benefit over our home friends.”

The query that prompted Li to supply that response was concerning how Baidu can compete with abroad clouds – however Li selected to border his response solely by way of competitors with native rivals, all of which will even be disadvantaged of Nvidia’s strongest merchandise whereas the likes of AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud gobble as many H100s as they will discover.

The CEO additionally claimed Baidu is supplied with China’s most cost-efficient AI infrastructure for mannequin coaching and inferencing.

Li described working inside China as working in a macro setting with numerous uncertainty – albeit one with numerous alternatives.

“GenAI and enormous language fashions are reshaping the aggressive panorama of China’s public cloud stock and enhancing our aggressive benefit,” insisted Li. The CEO additionally asserted that when cloud and cell are mixed, Baidu’s development was sooner than that of China’s GDP.

“I feel we can maintain our long-term development,” he mused.

Baidu’s whole revenues had been RMB134.6 billion ($18.96 billion) – a 9 p.c yr over yr enhance for the 2023 fiscal yr.

The multi-armed net titan, which positions itself as “a number one AI firm with a powerful web basis,” credit its income development to advert know-how enchancment and serving to enterprises construct their very own fashions.

Complete income from the generative AI and basis mannequin associated companies reached RMB656 million ($91 million) in This autumn – a quantity CFO Rong Luo predicted “ought to develop to a number of billion RMB for the total yr 2024.” ®

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