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Can Nvidia and its GPUs become a server staple?

Amid all the talk about next-generation tablets and high hopes for smartphone chips, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang pointed to the enterprise as a potential growth market.
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Written by Larry Dignan on

Amid all the talk about next-generation tablets and high hopes for smartphone chips, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang pointed to the enterprise as a potential growth market.

As reported previously, Dell has cooked up specialized servers with Nvidia's Tesla graphical processor units (GPUs) in them. These GPU-powered servers are designed for high performance computing and graphically intensive workloads.

Hewlett-Packard and IBM also have designed systems using Nvidia's Tesla chips. The rub: Nvidia doesn't have the enterprise sales army to put Tesla into data centers.

Now Dell, IBM and HP will have their sales folks potentially pushing Nvidia-powered servers.

Huang outlined the importance of getting some enterprise help. He said:

The Tesla product is lumpy because, frankly, until now, we've been really the only sales force out there. And NVIDIA doesn't have a very large enterprise sales force. But now that starting this last quarter, towards the end of the quarter, Dell, and HP, and IBM all have their systems that they've designed with the Tesla GPU in it, we are now engaging, or if you will, their sales force is engaging into the GPU computing ecosystem. And so with thousands and thousands of sales and marketing people from the three largest enterprise computing companies in the world selling Tesla now, I think we're in a much better position to gain much smoother traction. The way I think about Tesla up to this point is that we've been doing mostly evangelism. We're now able to deploy the resources of the OEMs to go after it. And so I hope that and I believe that with a larger salesforce supporting and engaging customers---the big pharmas, supercomputing centers, oil and gas companies and finance companies all around the world---I think you're going to see a smoother ramp and, hopefully, a much more aggressive ramp.

The big question is whether IBM, HP and Dell can give Tesla-powered servers a lift. Will Nvidia play a role in servers?

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