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AI industry desperately searches for GPUs amid chip shortage

“Otherwise, all incumbents win,” Mr. Conrad said.

Venture capital investors also have a similar goal. This month, Index Ventures partnered with Oracle to provide its young portfolio companies a mix of Nvidia’s H100 chips and an older version, called the A100, at no cost.

Index Ventures investor Erin Price Wright said the company has seen its start-ups struggle to navigate the complicated process of getting computing power and joining waiting lists of up to nine months. Two companies are set to use the firm’s new program, with others expressing interest.

Prior to the reduction, George Sivulka, chief executive of AI productivity software maker Hebbia, asked his cloud provider for more “instances,” or GPU-filled virtual servers, as the company expanded. Now, he said, his contacts at cloud companies either don’t respond to his requests or put him on a four-month waiting list. He has tapped customers and other connections to help him pitch his story to cloud companies. And he’s constantly on the lookout for more.

“It’s almost like talking about drugs: ‘I know a guy who has H100,'” he said.

Several months ago, some Hebbia engineers installed a server with a somewhat less efficient GPU in the company’s Manhattan office, parked the machine in a closet and used it to work on small projects. The liquid cooling units keep the servers from overheating, Mr. Sivulka said, but it’s noisy.

“We closed the door,” he said. “Nobody sits next to it.”

Deprivation has created a huge gap between the rich and the poor. in June, inflection A.I.An AI start-up in Palo Alto, California announced that it has acquired 22,000 H100 chips from Nvidia. It also said it has raised $1.3 billion from Microsoft, Nvidia and others. Inflection chief executive Mustafa Suleiman said in an interview that the company plans to spend at least 95 percent of the funds on GPUs.

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