AI company Cerebras Systems signs $100 million supercomputer deal with UAE’s G42

US-headquartered artificial intelligence (AI) Cerebras Systems on Thursday said it has signed an approximately $100 million deal to deliver the first of what could be up to nine artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputers in a partnership with United Arab Emirates-based technology group G42.

The deal comes as cloud computing providers around the world are searching for alternatives to chips from Nvidia Corp, the market leader in AI computing whose products are in short supply, thanks to the surging popularity of ChatGPT and other services. Cerebras is one of several startups looking to challenge Nvidia.

Silicon Valley-based Cerebras said that G42 has agreed to purchase three of what it calls its Condor Galaxy systems, all of which it will build in the US to speed up the roll out. The first one will come online this year, with two more coming in early 2024.

Cerebras chief executive officer Andrew Feldman described the deal as the start of a “strategic partnership” and said the two companies are in talks for up to six additional supercomputers by late 2024.

Feldman plans to move to the UAE for three months to work with G42 on developing its computing service based on the systems, calling it “a rare opportunity to change a massive market.”

Abu Dhabi-based G42, a tech conglomerate with nine operating companies that include datacenter and cloud service businesses, says it plans to use the Cerebras systems to sell AI computing services to health care and energy companies. G42 has raised $800 million from U.S. tech investment firm Silver Lake, which has backing from Mudabala, the UAE’s soverign wealth fund.

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“Cerebras has what they call a ‘white glove’ service that made it easy for us” to build AI systems on its machines, G42 Cloud CEO Talal AlKaissi told Reuters. “There will be some excess capacity that we hope to wholesale with Cerebras to customers in the open-source AI community from many places around the world, especially in the US ecosystem.”

G42 Cloud’s AlKaissi declined to comment on the terms of the deal.

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