GPUaaS makes expensive computing technology available to the wider world. technology news

Crutrim, a domestic artificial intelligence startup, in early May introduced graphics processing units as a service (GPUaaS) for enterprises and developers to train their AI systems.

A GPU is a specialized computer chip that renders graphics and images by performing the intense mathematical calculations required in AI processing. Demand for GPUaaS is expected to grow manifold as startups introduce Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) – AI – products as core software.

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GPUaaS lets businesses use expensive chips as needed, paying only for their use. It is a flexible solution to leverage GPUs and is economical as businesses can avoid investing in hardware.

“It aims to enable developers to create cutting-edge innovations. The platforms or tools that developers need are computing and services and that's what we've opened up. For example, we have launched GPU-as-a-Service, Models-as-a-Service and location services for developers,” said Ravi Jain, head of strategy at Crutrim, which translates to “artificial” in Sanskrit.

GPUaaS is not new, but has gained popularity over the past few years with the boom in GenAI. “…(A) GPUaaS platform accelerates tasks like deep learning and rendering, and streamlines GPU resource management by automating allocation, scaling, and maintenance processes. Managing these tasks manually, especially at scale, can be complex and time-consuming,” said Rashid Khan, chief product officer and co-founder of Yellow.AI, a customer service automation platform.

According to a Nasscom report, there were 18 GenAI startups in India in 2021 and more than doubled to 60 in the first quarter of 2023, highlighting the demand for GPU-enabled computing infrastructure in the country.

Data from Nasscom, which represents India's technology industry, shows $8 billion was invested in AI between 2013 and 2022 ($3.2 billion in 2022 alone) across 1,900 AI startups in India.

According to Allied Market Research, the international GPUaaS market was valued at $1.83 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach $19.56 billion by 2030 as it grows at a compound annual growth rate of 33.2 percent.

India's demand

Experts say Indian companies have just started implementing GenAI and are carefully investing in computing capacity, so GPUaaS is helpful for them.

“Most companies use AI-as-a-Service from the service provider and are not exposed to the cost of GPUs. Some who want to deploy their own custom AI services are exploring alternatives to owning the infrastructure themselves. This is for a segment where AI infrastructure is deployed as a service, said Naresh Singh, senior analyst at market research firm Gartner.

Experts also say that cloud service providers can offer GPUaaS to Indian companies, startups, global capability centers and governments.

“Instead of companies investing in in-house GPU capacity, which is expensive and requires specialized skills, it makes sense for companies to rent GPUs on demand from these cloud providers,” said S Anjani Kumar, consulting partner at Deloitte India. “

Smaller organizations can access GenAi through GPUaaS. Ramprakash Ramamurthy, director of AI research at ManageEngine, an information technology (IT) service, said, “GPUaaS providers leverage their wholesale purchasing power to negotiate better terms, thus making GPUs more accessible and enabling the adoption of advanced computational technologies.” Support a wide range of companies in using.” company.

According to media reports, the government, as part of its Rs 10,000 crore India AI Mission, may rent GPUs from domestic companies and provide chips at concessional rates to startups.

Yotta Infrastructure, an Indian data services company, aims to compete with global giants like Amazon and social media platform owner Meta Platform by providing GPU servers at a competitive price of $2-$2.5 per hour of usage. Globally, these rates are $9-$12.

“The government is going to get these GPUs as a service model from people like us who are building data centers by bringing in GPUs and putting the software layer on top,” Yotta CEO Sunil Gupta said earlier.

According to experts, governments will find GPUaaS suitable for their strategic needs. “Government customers typically have sovereign requirements and stringent security compliance requirements. Typically, they may start with AI as a service but take a strategic step forward to invest in their own infrastructure from a regulatory and national security and strategic perspective. This could lead to good market demand for AI infrastructure (either captive or as a service), said Naresh Singh, senior director analyst at Gartner.

pay and go

A key benefit of GPUaaS for governments is the 'pay-as-you-go' feature, which eliminates the need for upfront investment in hardware, software, skills and services, allowing the government to pay on a use-by-use basis. Yes, Anjani Kumar said. Deloitte India.

Data center and cloud companies are expanding GPUaaS business as demand increases. Cloud computing firm CtrlS will invest $2 billion over the next six years to develop AI and data centers.

“Our expansion plans include integrating advanced technologies such as liquid cooling, AI, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and optimized rack layouts to meet the growing demand for AI applications and cloud services,” said Ranjit Metarani, President, Are.” Managed services on CtrlS datacenter.

AI cloud company Neysa received $20 million in seed funding in April as it works on offering GenAI solutions as a service. The company previously said the service would help customers “cost-effectively discover, plan, deploy, and manage their GenAI projects in a consumption-based model”.

The technology-focused venture capital fund believes the government's assistance in setting up GPU clusters and providing access to training AI models at discounted prices will help startups and academia.

service report

> GPUaaS lets organizations pay for specialized chips 'as they go'

> World GPUaaS market to reach $19.56 billion by 2030

> Companies using GPUaaS save money on infrastructure

>Rs 10,000 crore India AI mission may hire GPUs domestically

>It will provide chips to startups at concessional rates

> Data, cloud companies expanding GPUaaS business

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