Today’s Cache | Meta anticipates arrival of new Nvidia chips; Saudi Arabia’s $40 billion AI initiative; Legal action against Tesla secrets theft suspects

March 20, 2024 12:55 pm | Updated 05:58 pm IST

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta is seen in front of displayed Google logo in this illustration taken on November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed Facebook's new rebrand logo Meta is seen in front of displayed Google logo in this illustration taken on November 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo | Photo Credit: Dado Ruvic

(This article is part of Today’s Cache, The Hindu’s newsletter on emerging themes at the intersection of technology, innovation and policy. To get it in your inbox, subscribe here.)

Meta anticipates arrival of new Nvidia chips

Meta Platforms is set to receive initial shipments of Nvidia’s new flagship artificial intelligence chip, the B200 “Blackwell,” later this year. The announcement came after Nvidia unveiled the chip at its annual developer conference on Monday. While Nvidia claims the B200 is 30 times faster at tasks like responding to chatbot queries, specifics regarding its performance in data-intensive tasks like chatbot training remain undisclosed. Nvidia’s Chief Financial Officer, Colette Kress, indicated that the market launch is anticipated later this year, with shipment volumes not expected to ramp up until 2025. Meta, one of Nvidia’s prominent clients, has previously purchased hundreds of thousands of the chipmaker’s GPUs to bolster content recommendation systems and generative AI products.

Saudi Arabia’s $40 Billion AI initiative

Saudi Arabia’s government is reportedly establishing a £40 billion fund for investing in artificial intelligence, as per sources briefed on the plans, reported by The New York Times on Tuesday. The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) has explored potential collaborations with U.S. venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and other financiers in recent discussions. There are talks of Andreessen Horowitz establishing a Riyadh office, with PIF governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan in discussions with the U.S. firm. The details on the fund’s structure and Andreessen Horowitz’s involvement are still under discussion, indicating potential changes in the plans. The fund, expected to launch in the latter half of 2024, aims to support various AI-related tech start-ups, including chip manufacturers and large-scale data centres.

Legal action against Tesla secrets theft suspects

Two individuals are accused of establishing a business in China using battery manufacturing technology stolen from Tesla and attempting to sell the proprietary information, federal prosecutors in New York revealed on Tuesday. Klaus Pflugbeil, a 58-year-old Canadian citizen residing in Ningbo, China, was apprehended on Long Island on Tuesday morning, where he intended to negotiate the sale with businessmen, who turned out to be undercover federal agents, authorities stated. The other individual implicated is Yilong Shao, aged 47, also from Ningbo, who remains at large. Both face charges of conspiring to transmit trade secrets, carrying a potential 10-year prison sentence if convicted.

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