- AMD recently struck a deal with Google to put its GPUs in the latter's cloud platform.
- Google's competitors like Amazon's AWS and Microsoft's Azure, use Nvidia chips, but older ones.
- The Google deal is a big win for AMD, and many more deals could potentially follow.
Sunnyvale, California based AMD (NASDAQ:AMD) recently clinched a deal to put its GPUs in Google's cloud platforms. Coming after AMD's Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) deal last month, this deal is a much bigger win, and could open the doors to many more deals in the cloud services space, which have eluded AMD so far. By virtue of its early lead, this space has been dominated by arch rival Nvidia. Both, Amazon's AWS and Microsoft's Azure reportedly use only Nvidia GPUs at the moment. However, that could potentially change following this deal, owing to a combination of factors. Here's why this deal could potentially be followed by a slew of other deals over the coming months.
AMD Will Benefit From The Cloud Battle
The battle is heating up in the cloud services space, and whichever way that goes, AMD may emerge as one of the beneficiaries. On November 15th, Alphabet Inc's (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google announced that starting from early 2017, it would offer GPUs made by AMD and NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA) to Google Compute Engine and Google Cloud Machine Learning users. The announcement is a big win for AMD for multiple reasons.
For starters, the data center space has been dominated by AMD's arch-rival Nvidia for a long time now. By virtue of its early lead, Nvidia has found its way into some of the most popular cloud platforms, like Amazon's (NASDAQ:AMZN) AWS, and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Azure and IBM's (NYSE:IBM) Bluemix. The Google deal represents AMD's first breakthrough among US based cloud biggies. It's also AMD's first move in deep learning or machine learning, which is expected to play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of technology and its applications.
Coming back to the cloud landscape, Google is somewhat late to the party, when it comes to making GPUs available on its cloud platforms. While AWS started offering GPU-powered instances way back in 2010, Azure and Bluemix put these on offer earlier this year. In its bid to catch up with cloud competitors like Amazon's AWS and Microsoft Azure, Google has announced an aggressive 'by the minute' pricing for machine learning oriented GPU instances, as against Amazon's 'by the hour' pricing. That apart, most importantly, Google is also offering a wider range of GPU options when compared to its competitors. Google will offer two graphics cards based on Nvidia's 'Tesla' architecture, the K80 and the P100, and AMD's 'Polaris' architecture based FirePro S9300 x2.
Both, Nvidia's P100 and AMD's FirePro S9300 x2 are reportedly more capable than Nvidia's older K80, at least on certain parameters. And it might surprise you that, both, AWS and Azure currently have only the K80 on offer. That, combined with Google's move to make these graphics cards available on its cloud platforms could encourage the competition to follow suit.
AMD's Upcoming Vega GPUs Could Further Its Case
Just in case AMD's current offerings aren't compelling enough, the company's upcoming line up of Vega GPUs promise to do better. While Google seems to be happy with AMD's FirePro S9300 x2, the company's Polaris architecture, on which this graphics card is based, hasn't thrilled everybody equally. As is often the case with most products, this one too has had its fair share of critics. However, now that Google has decided to go with AMD's existing GPUs, AMD's upcoming Vega graphics cards, which are based on brand new architecture, should only make a more compelling case for the chipmaker.
At the moment, we only have rumors to go by, as far as launch timelines are concerned. Some rumors suggest that AMD's Vega 10 will be launched before the end of the year, with its Vega 11 coming early next year. Yet, others suggest that we might not see these chips hitting the market before 2017. Either way, what we do know is that it will be AMD's most powerful GPU yet, aimed at the higher end market. And based on Wccftech's analysis, it could turn out to be a handful for Nvidia:
"The specifications for AMD’s upcoming flagship Radeon graphics card, Fury X successor, based on Vega 10 have been leaked on one of the company’s leading engineers’ LinkedIn page. Packing an impressive 4096 next generation V9 cores and an unbelievable 12 teraflops of compute performance. Putting it ahead of Nvidia’s top dog the $1200 GTX TItan X."
What's more, earlier this year, AMD CEO Lisa Su indicated that the company will eventually combine its much anticipated Zen CPU with a GPU based on the Vega architecture, to roll out one big mega-chip for enterprise servers and supercomputing. Given everything that AMD has lined up, it appears as if the Google deal could be the first of many to come for the chipmaker. Evaluating tech stocks? Check out Amigobulls' top technology stock picks, which have beaten the NASDAQ by over 112%.