Key Points

  • Microsoft's Azure platform will host Nvidia's Omniverse Cloud and DGX Cloud services.
  • Nvidia's focus on metaverse-enabling software and AI has driven the partnership with Microsoft.
  • Nvidia's AI and simulation tools are being used in industries such as automotive and e-commerce.
  • The partnership will allow integration between Microsoft 365 programs and Nvidia Omniverse for real-time 3D collaboration.
  • The subscription-based service will be available in the second half of 2023

Nvidia, the leading technology company behind graphic processing units (GPUs), has joined forces with Microsoft to revolutionize the industrial metaverse network.

This move comes after Microsoft recently pulled out of its own attempt to create immersive internet tools for manufacturing companies. The alliance between the two tech giants will see Microsoft's cloud computing platform, Azure, host Nvidia's suite of internet services for building and operating hyper-realistic virtual worlds called Omniverse Cloud, as well as Nvidia DGX Cloud.

The latter is a new offering that is described as an artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputing service that gives enterprises instant access to the infrastructure and software needed to train advanced models for generative AI.

NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang at his GTC keynote presentation Twitter

The Nvidia-Microsoft Partnership

The Nvidia-Microsoft partnership will enable the integration of Microsoft 365 programs such as Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint with Nvidia Omniverse. This platform is for building and operating 3D industrial metaverse applications, enabling real-time 3D collaboration. The subscription for the new offering is expected to become available in the second half of this year. Pricing details are yet to be revealed.

Nvidia's CEO Jensen Huang aims to bring new AI, simulation, and collaboration capabilities to the industry. "The world's largest companies are racing to digitalize every aspect of their business and reinvent themselves into software-defined technology companies," said Huang.

"NVIDIA AI and Omniverse supercharge industrial digitalization." To illustrate the point, Huang showed a video of how Amazon is using simulation tools to choreograph the movements of Proteus, its first fully autonomous warehouse robot, as it moves storage bins from one place to another alongside other robots and humans.

This partnership with Microsoft comes as Nvidia concentrates its technology on the now booming markets for metaverse-enabling software and artificial intelligence that take advantage of its graphics-oriented semiconductors. A large portion of the chipmaker's revenue comes from its gaming division, home to the GPUs that were widely used by ether miners until late last year.

Minner

Ethereum's Legacy

Ethereum's shift to a more energy-efficient model obliterated that stream. Nvidia was well aware it would lose the cryptocurrency mining revenue and decided to shift its focus to metaverse-enabling software and artificial intelligence.

Richard Kerris, Vice President of the Omniverse developer platform, and the industry general manager for media and entertainment, speaking at the briefing ahead of the conference, claimed that the Nvidia Omniverse technology proved to be particularly useful for automakers as they employ 3D design tools to accelerate vehicle development, build digital twins of factories, or run simulations to test vehicle performance. To that end, Milan Nedeljković, member of the board of management at BMW Group, joined Huang during his GTC keynote to announce that the car manufacturer will be expanding its use of the Omniverse platform across its global production network, including its first entirely virtual factory, a predecessor to the actual electric vehicle plant scheduled for opening in Debrecen, Hungary, in 2025.

Additionally, Nvidia has unveiled six new RTX Ada Lovelace GPUs for laptops and desktops, which deliver up to two times more efficiency than the previous generation, and the third generation of its OVX computing system to meet the demands of metaverse and AI-related workflows.

In October, Microsoft announced an alliance with Meta to integrate the software maker's Office 365 suite into the social-media company's Quest VR headset, a key element in its metaverse development. That same month, Microsoft created an industrial metaverse team, which it subsequently dismissed in February, according to the Information.

Microsoft did not respond to a request to confirm the dismissal on Tuesday, but a company spokesman told Forbes: "Microsoft remains committed to the industrial metaverse. We are applying our focus to the areas of the industrial metaverse that matter most to our customers, and they will see no change in how they are supported.



About MICROSOFT CORP


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