Alibaba’s AliCloud Bets on GPUs for Artificial Intelligence

by George Millington

AliCloud, the cloud computing business of Alibaba Group, China’s largest ecommerce company, became the latest major player to turn to GPUs to speed up its artificial intelligence efforts.

AliCloud announced this week that it will work with NVIDIA to broadly promote the first GPU-accelerated, cloud-based, high performance computing platform in China.


It will pitch these cloud-based GPU offerings to its customers — primarily fast-growing startups — for AI and HPC work.

The AI Boom Goes Global

The announcement will accelerate an AI boom that kicked off when researchers plugged the vast quantities of data generated by the internet into new computer architectures that give machines the ability to teach themselves to do complex tasks.

The creation of intelligent machines that can learn like humans do is revolutionizing a broad range of industries. But training the deep neural networks to power new AI applications can take weeks or months on even the most powerful computers.

GPUs can slash this time to days. That helps developers innovate faster and train more sophisticated networks so they can deliver more powerful AI capabilities to consumers. That’s why major internet companies like Alibaba are flocking to GPUs.

Accelerating AI with the Tesla Accelerated Computing Platform

The AliCloud HPC service will give users access to NVIDIA Tesla K40 GPUs to power a range of HPC, AI and deep learning applications.

Our Tesla Accelerated Computing is built on the open, programmable GPU architecture that’s driving the AI revolution.

Alibaba and NVIDIA will also establish a joint lab for research and technology development. The lab will provide AliCloud users with services and support to help them take advantage of GPU-accelerated computing to create deep learning and other HPC applications.

Our goal: to expand the market for deep learning by using the cloud to give innovators access to the latest GPU-accelerated computing technologies. We’re confident the results will amaze us all.

To learn more, visit the AliCloud website.