Jensen Huang interview: Nvidia’s post-Arm strategy, Omniverse, and self-driving cars

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Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang could not fulfill his dream of acquiring Arm for $ 80 billion. Regulators kept the deal and Huang canceled the deal “after giving him our best shot.”

But his company is still running strong. Nvidia reported revenue of 7.64 billion in its fourth fiscal quarter ended January 30, up 53% from a year earlier. Gaming, datacenter and professional visualization market platforms each achieved record revenue for the quarter and year.

It shows that the company has a lot of breadth as it decides what it will do following the collapse of arm deals. And Huang said he has high hopes for its three-chip strategy, Omniverse, Metavers and self-driving cars. I had some time to visit Huang after the company reported earnings this week.

Here is an edited transcript of our interview.

VentureBeat: What is your post-arm strategy? You have to communicate your strategic direction in the light [the Arm deal being called off],

Jensen Huang: Nothing really. Because we never finished combining with the arm. So any strategy that would have come from the combination was never talked about. And so our strategy is exactly the same. Wherever there is a CPU (Central Processing Units) we do accelerated computing. And so we’ll do that for x86. And we’ll do it for the arm. We have a whole bunch of ARM CPUs and system-on-chips (SoCs) in development. And we are enthusiastic. We do it all. We have a 20-year license of Arm Intellectual Property. And we will continue to take advantage of all that and all markets. And that’s about it. Continue building CPUs, (Graphics Processing Units) GPUs and DPUs (Data Processing Units).

VB: So that’s your three-chip strategy? Would you now consider RISC-V as not having an arm deal?

Huang: We use RISC-V. We are RISC-V users within our GPU. We use it in many fields. For system controllers, inside the Bluefield GPU, there is a RISC-V acceleration engine, if you wish, a programmable engine. And when that means we use RISC-V. We use the arm when it means. We use x86 when that means.

VB: And how do you see progress on Metavers? Looks like everyone is more excited about this metaverse, and omniverse is always part of that conversation.

Huang: Should. Omniverse for Enterprise is being tested and tested in over 700 different companies around the world. We have already entered some large licenses. And so our numbers are off to a good start. People are using it for all kinds of things. They are using it to connect designers and creators. They are using it to mimic logistics warehouses, mimic factories. They are using it for synthetic data generation because we physically and accurately mimic sensors. You can use it to simulate data for AI training collected from LiDAR, radar and of course camera. And so they are using it for the simulation part of the software development process. You need to validate the software as part of the release process. And you can put Omniverse in the stream of robotics application recognition. People are also using it for digital twins.

A scene from the Ericsson Omniverse scene.
A scene from the Ericsson Omniverse environment.

VB: You’re going to make the biggest digital twins of all, right? [Nvidia plans to make a digital twin of the Earth as part of its Earth 2 simulation, which will use AI and the world’s fastest supercomputers to simulate climate change and predict how the planet’s climate could change over decades],

Huang: We are stopping the construction or scoping of architecture and the creation of the ultimate digital twins.

VB: And do you think we are also moving towards an open metavers? Will it be open enough against a cluster of walled gardens?

Huang: I really hope it is open and I think it will be open with Universal Scene Description (USD). As you know, we are one of the largest contributors to the USD today. And it was invented by Pixar. It has been adopted by many different content developers. Adobe has adopted it, and we’ve got a lot of people to adopt it. I hope everyone goes to USD and then it must be the metavars HTML.

VB: What is your level of confidence in the automotive department and how are we doing with self-driving cars? Do you think we are getting back on track after the epidemic?

Huang: I am sure we will have autonomous vehicles all over the world. They all have their operating domains. And some of them are within the boundaries of a very large warehouse. They call them AMRs, autonomous moving robots. You can keep them inside walled factories, and so they can move goods and inventory around. You can deliver goods up to the last mile like Neuro and others. All these great companies that are doing last-mile delivery. All of those apps are very doable, unless you promise more.

And I think autonomous vehicles will have thousands of applications, and that’s a definite thing. This is going to be the year of autonomous driving for us. This will be a big year for us. And then next year, it will be even bigger next year. And in 2025, when we share revenue with car companies we deploy for our own software.

And so if the license was $ 10,000, we shared 50-50. If it’s a બે 1,000 or $ 100 subscription base per month, we share 50-50. I think now I am sure that autonomous vehicles will be one of our biggest businesses.

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