Cryptocurrency billionaire Jed McCaleb, renowned as a co-founder of major crypto ventures like Stellar, Ripple, and Mt. Gox, has established a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote the development of generative artificial intelligence.
This nonprofit entity is registered in the United States as a 501(c)(3) organization. In a recent development, it acquired 24,000 Nvidia H100 graphics cards (GPUs), valued at an estimated half a billion dollars, as reported by TechCrunch.
These highly potent GPUs, considered among the largest globally, will be harnessed to power data centers that aim to provide computing capacity for AI projects through leasing.
These data centers represent a novel approach, distinct from the typical technology giants that traditionally supply computing power for AI development, as highlighted in the report.
Notably, startups such as Imbue and Character.ai have reportedly begun utilizing the computing capacity provided by these data centers for experimentation with AI models.
Eric Park, the CEO of Voltage Park, the organization overseeing the management of these data centers, expressed the primary objective: to “unlock access” to AI resources. This initiative aims to empower startups, scale-ups, and research organizations, granting them the freedom to innovate without being constrained by restrictive contracts, GPU shortages, or high minimum purchase requirements.
Park elaborated on this endeavor, stating, “We’re actively engaging with industry stakeholders to better understand their requirements and using that insight to guide the development of our remaining clusters, ensuring they are beneficial to as many customers as possible.”
Ownership transferred to Voltage Park
Jed McCaleb’s nonprofit organization, the Navigation Fund, is reported to have acquired the GPUs and subsequently transferred ownership to the for-profit entity, Voltage Park, which operates as a subsidiary of the Navigation Fund.
Despite the seemingly intricate structure, this arrangement enables the for-profit Voltage Park to effectively manage the extensive GPU cluster, as elucidated by TechCrunch.
Although the complete cluster deployed by Voltage Park has yet to become operational, it is planned to be accessible across multiple states in the United States, providing options for short-term leases and hourly billing.
GPU shortage a significant challenge
The scarcity of advanced computing capacity, particularly GPUs, currently presents a substantial challenge within the AI industry.
Notably, even major players such as Microsoft have encountered difficulties in sourcing these chips, leading to warnings of potential service disruptions related to AI operations.
The report underscores the severity of the situation, indicating that Nvidia’s high-performance AI cards are fully sold out, with availability expected only as far out as 2024.