A non-profit organization linked to Stellar co-founder and executive Jed McCaleb intends to offer an AI chip rental service, Reuters reported on Oct. 30.
The startup in question, Voltage Park, has reportedly purchased 24,000 Nvidia H100 chips valued at $500 million. The company plans to rent those resources out as a cloud service so that other firms can work with artificial intelligence (AI).
Voltage Park will offer both long-term and short-term access plans and intends to deploy the chips around February 2024, according to Reuters.
The rental access model is intended to address shortages in AI chips. Though precise availability is unclear, companies, including Microsoft and OpenAI, have reported shortages, according to one recent CNN report. OpenAI has even considered producing its own AI chips as a solution to the shortage, other reports indicate.
Cloud rental models, by contrast, allow smaller companies and developers to remotely access AI chips and computer resources on a temporary basis.
Voltage Park has ties to Stellar’s Jed McCaleb
Voltage Park has links to a notable cryptocurrency figure, Jed McCaleb, co-founder and Chief Architect of the blockchain firm Stellar. McCaleb is also a co-founder of Ripple and a co-founder of the failed early cryptocurrency exchange Mt. Gox.
Though McCaleb is not directly involved in Voltage Park, the company is a wholly owned subsidiary of McCaleb’s non-profit organization, Navigation Fund. The parent organization will receive all of Voltage Park’s profits, according to current reports.
Voltage Park is not the only crypto-related firm that is moving into AI and chip rentals. In September, reports suggested that stablecoin firm Tether had entered an agreement with a Bitcoin mining firm called Northern Data to provide cloud access to AI chips.
Cloud chip rentals are otherwise dominated by major tech firms, such as Nvidia and Google Cloud. It is unclear whether smaller firms will be able to compete.
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